Premier League

Man Utd to sign England goalkeeper as De Gea competition

Robin Bairner
Erik ten Hag, David De Gea, Man Utd, 2022/23

Manchester United are ready to sign England international goalkeeper jack Butland to act as competition for David de Gea in the second half of the season.

The Crystal Palace shot-stopper, who has played for his country a total of nine times, is set to arrive on a six-month loan deal at Old Trafford.

The Athletic reports that everything is in place for Butland to undergo a medical with Manchester United ahead of the deal being completed.

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It is expected that he will fulfil the role that Martin Dubravka held in the first part of the campaign, though the Newcastle keeper wanted to return to St James’ Park, having been frustrated by a lack of first-team opportunities with Erik ten Hag’s club.

First-choice goalkeeper De Gea’s future has been unclear at the club since before the arrival of Ten Hag, but The Telegraph now reports that he is in line for a new contract, further suggesting he is still seen as the long-term No.1 and that Butland will be nothing more than temporary cover.

MORE: 10 players who could join Man Utd in January

Jack Butland’s career

Butland rose to prominence with Birmingham City in the 2022/23 season, making his debut for England as a Championship player, before moving to Premier League outfit Stoke. It was with the Potters that he truly gained recognition, though he spent a couple of years as an understudy at the Bet365 Stadium.

He was in and out of the team with Stoke over seven full seasons at the club, who were relegated again to the Championship by the time he left to join Palace in the 2020/21 season as their replacement goalkeeper.

At Selhurst Park, Butland has played a total of 10 Premier League matches, including nine last term, but he has not played a single game in any competition this season, having missed the first four months of the campaign because of a fractured finger.

He made his return to the bench for the 3-0 Premier League loss against Fulham on Boxing Day, but Palace manager Patrick Vieira clearly has confidence in former Red Devils youngster Sam Johnstone acting as support to regular goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.

Meanwhile, Butland appears more suited to a role at Man Utd than Dubravka, having spent a significant proportion of his career as a backup goalkeeper.

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