Wary that Real Madrid may make a late January move for David De Gea, Manchester United have identified a replacement should their number one goalkeeper decide to leave Old Trafford.
he Red Devils had reluctantly agreed to sell the goalkeeper to Madrid for £29m in the summer, with Costa Rica international Keylor Navas coming to Old Trafford as part of the deal. But the move failed to go through because the necessary paperwork was not submitted before the transfer deadline.
De Gea, 25, was dropped at the start of the season by the United manager Louis van Gaal, who suggested at the time that the goalkeeper's focus had been affected by Real's interest.
However, he signed a four-year contract 10 days after his proposed move to Spain fell through, and was promptly restored to the first team. He has again been a star performer, but club officials fear Madrid may come calling before their transfer embargo which begins at the end of the January transfer window.
According to Spanish publication Don Balon, Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo has been identified as a replacement.
Bravo, 32, shares goalkeeping duties at the Nou Camp with German international Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, with the Chilean assuming league duty while the latter plays in the Champions League.
Don Balon reports that Bravo wants unrestricted game time and is willing to leave Barcelona should Ter Stegen remain at the club, but is waiting to see if anything comes of Liverpool’s reported interest in the German.
With Bravo’s release clause just €15m, he would be an attractive proposition for the Manchester club.
De Gea moved to United from Atletico Madrid for £17.8m in June 2011.