Manchester United are on the verge of signing Thomas Strakosha in a free transfer on the back of the goalkeeper Chelsea and Fulham also wanted leaving Lazio earlier this summer.
That’s according to 90min, who report the Red Devils have all but agreed terms with 27-year-old Strakosha to move to Old Trafford. Erik ten Hag strived to add a shot-stopper to understudy for David de Gea after allowing Dean Henderson to join Nottingham Forest.
Henderson will spend the 2022/23 season at the City Ground on loan in order to gain regular first-team minutes. But his temporary departure created a void between the sticks as Ten Hag looks to keep two experienced options available during his debut campaign in charge.
Fulham had strived to secure a deal of their own for Strakosha after Lazio let the Albania international’s contract expire. But Marco Silva has since switched tact to target Arsenal’s backup, Bernd Leno, as the Cottagers prepare for their first season back in the top-flight.
Manchester United beat Chelsea interest with Strakosha on verge of signing
Chelsea were interested in Strakosha, too, per Fabrizio Romano, but Manchester United are on the verge of signing the 19-cap stopper instead. Thomas Tuchel considered a move for the free agent to support Edouard Mendy, should Kepa Arrizabalaga leave west London.
Strakosha will now fill the void in Ten Hag’s plans that Henderson left between first-choice De Gea and Tom Heaton. The goalkeeper should also arrive in solid shape after ending last term as Lazio’s number one over Pepe Reina with seven clean sheets in 23 Serie A outings.
He also registered four shut outs across eight Europa League appearances, whilst denying Atalanta and Fiorentina domestically. Strakosha’s previous displays at the Stadio Olimpico also saw former Biancocelesti coach Alberto Bollini hail his ‘extraordinary’ athleticism.
Strakosha left Lazio as a free agent on June 30 after 208 first-team appearances across all competitions for the club. He moved to Rome during his youth in 2012, and progressed to record 62 clean sheets. The Athens-born goalie also boasts eight clean sheets for Albania.