Manchester United reported to have 'reserved' Diogo Costa for next summer - and should go one step further
Manchester United are reported to have made early advances over the potential signing of Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa.
Portuguese newspaper CM Jornal reports United have enquired to ‘reserve’ Costa for next summer, asking to be directly told about any competing interest in the shot stopper.
The Athletic report United have been scouting Costa, with the club weighing up the next step at the goalkeeper position, with David de Gea’s contract set to expire in a year.
Well, there is a case to go one step further, and act in January, to buy Costa and pay the fee – even if it means agreeing to delay his arrival until next summer.
Manchester United reported to have ‘reserved’ Diogo Costa
With Manchester United reported to have ‘reserved’ Diogo Costa, the club’s intent to snap him up has been signalled. Now the club need to fully commit.
Costa, 23, is Portugal’s number one, who has saved three penalties in the Champions League already this season.
His most recent stop against Bayer Leverkusen drew praise from United star Diogo Dalot, who described him on social media as ‘unreal’.
Dalot has a strong relationship with David de Gea right now, but there is no reason to believe it would be any lesser with Costa in United’s goal.
Costa is a goalkeeper who has it all. He is a big physical presence, he is quick off his line, and his distribution is excellent. He is the modern goalkeeper United need.
Making a move for him in January would be a decisive statement from United over the club’s determination to improve.
Even though De Gea was outstanding at the weekend, Sir Alex Ferguson showed that when the time is right, you have to be ruthless in moving players on, and the case applies here.
Buy now, get certainty and deal with De Gea fairly
David de Gea has been a model professional at Manchester United. He has played more than 500 games for the club and currently faces an uncertain future with his contract set to expire in 2023.
United can choose to move on from him next summer and move for Costa, or another goalkeeper. It is also important to treat him fairly.
This means giving him fair warning that he will be moved on. Signing Diogo Costa in January, pending arrival in July, gives him the advance notice he will need.
De Gea can then decide whether he wants to stay and compete, potentially working as an understudy on a reduced salary, or if he wants to move on.
United won’t want to get caught in a situation of missing out on Costa by waiting until next summer, and then losing De Gea too because so much uncertainty has dragged on.
A move for Costa early may throw up it’s own challenges, how will De Gea react mid-season and so on, but the uncertainty over his future if unresolved may also have a very negative impact. An early move, rather than delaying the inevitable, will likely help him.
Erik ten Hag will ensure the Spaniard’s mindset is right, and the long-term benefits of locking up the club’s future number 1, before the summer, should be exciting enough to outweigh any concerns.