Reliable journalist Fabrizio Romano recently revealed that Martin Dubravka is now pushing for a deal to join Manchester United before the end of the transfer window.
With under a week to go in the window, it looks like the Red Devils are looking to bring in a goalkeeper who can challenge and back up current starter and key man David de Gea after his poor start to the Premier League season.
De Gea picked up just his first clean sheet against Southampton this weekend, having conceded seven goals in just their three opening games. As a result, they are now looking to bring in Dubravka, who has become surplus to requirements after Newcastle United signed Nick Pope.
While the deal is yet to be confirmed, Romano has claimed the Slovakian shot-stopper is pushing for a move to join the club, but United are only looking for a loan with an option to buy, whereas the Magpies want a permanent move.
Romano revealed the latest on his YouTube channel, saying: “They are working on it. Man United offering a loan deal with a buy option around £5m.
“Newcastle wants a permanent deal for Dubravka or a loan with obligation to buy. But the player is pushing, the player wants to go, the player wants to try this opportunity to play for Man United, and so he’s trying to ask Newcastle to leave the club as a matter of respect for him as he’s the second goalkeeper behind Nick Pope. So let’s see, but Man United pushing for Dubravka.”
TIF Thoughts on Dubravka to United…
There is no doubt De Gea has been a loyal servant and one of United’s best players since Sir Alex Ferguson left, however, his performances so far this season, for the most part, have been under-par. This was exemplified by his two howlers against Brentford in their crushing 4-0 loss to the west London side.
As a result, it is not surprising United are looking to challenge the Spaniard with a goalkeeper like Dubravka, who is used to the Premier League and also used to facing a lot of pressure on his goal.
Dubravka, while being 33, could legitimately challenge De Gea, as when looking at their FBref stats from last season, Dubvraka ranks in the 96th percentile for post-shot expected goals per shot on target, while De Gea only ranks in the 82nd.
The Toon ‘keeper also betters the Old Trafford No 1 when looking at their distribution stats, as he ranks in the 97th percentile for the average length of goal kicks and the 71st for launch percentage, whereas De Gea ranks in just the 42nd and 38th percentiles respectively for those categories.
There is no disputing that De Gea has proven to be the better shot-stopper overall, but for Manchester United, it is smart to bring in a goalkeeper on a cheap deal who can challenge him, and at the very least, be a suitable backup for the season, with the club having let Dean Henderson depart earlier in the summer.
Should United sign Dubravka?