Manchester United make £25m bid for Atletico star Jan Oblak
David de Gea might be about to become a former Manchester United goalkeeper, but never fear - it seems the club might already be lining up a ready-made replacement.
Reports in the Spanish daily newspaper Marca this morning claim that United have set about targeting the new De Gea, in the shape of the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
The paper suggests that Atletico have turned down a bid worth around £25million for Oblak, who is likely to start the new La Liga campaign as the club's No1 after making 22 appearances for them last season.
De Gea's future at United certainly looks bleak, with the Spaniard having been 'rested' (that's dropped, in common parlance) for the game against Tottenham on Saturday due to not being in the right frame of mind.
De Gea is likely to start the new campaign at Real Madrid, although Van Gaal has ordered them to put in a more realistic bid if they hope to tie up a deal before the transfer window closes.
He said: “Manchester United have to pay for all the players at a certain amount. And what has Madrid offered?
"Then you are saying in a suggestive way that we have to be proactive, but we are asking money and they have to pay money. In the last few years, Manchester United has paid a lot and we haven’t received a lot of money, so no [we will not sell for an unsatisfactory fee].”
There have been various possible replacements touted for De Gea: earlier this summer, Tottenham's Hugo Lloris appeared a plausible solution, while Van Gaal has already moved for the Argentine Sergio Romero to replace the departing - and not much mourned - Victor Valdes.
However, Van Gaal is short of cover in the position, a point underlined by the fact that rookie youngster Sam Johnstone is set to feature against Spurs - either on the bench, or possibly as a shock starter given he featured heavily in pre-season.
Meanwhile, reports in Spain also suggest United could be ready to abandon their attempt to sign Sergio Ramos - which does seem to have fallen very quiet - and turn their attention instead to Valencia's Nicolas Otamendi.
The defender has been linked with a move to United before, but with a release clause in his contract of around £32million, he would not come cheap.
But wait - former Valencia player Mario Kempes - who maintains close links with the club - told Superdeporte that he believes the player will stay put.
"I believe that Otamendi is going to stay," he said. "The club has told me they are doing everything possible for him to stay. That is important for the club and for him. Soon he will decide to stay."
United should abandon their search for a new striker and hand another chance to Javier Hernandez, according to former defender Rio Ferdinand.
Hernandez spent last season on loan at Real Madrid and appears unlikely to feature prominently under Van Gaal this season.
But writing in his column in The Sun, Ferdinand said: “It’s being said United need another striker but I feel Chicharito should get another chance to prove himself.
“I loved playing with him when I was at United. He has great movement and is a fantastic lad to have in the dressing room. He’s become the forgotten man but in the few games he played on loan at Real last season he did well.”