Erik ten Hag covering all Man Utd bases as left-field alternative to David de Gea emerges

Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario Credit: Alamy
Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario Credit: Alamy

Reports in Italy claim Manchester United are keen to sign Empoli goalkeeper Guglielmo Vicario this summer as doubts over David de Gea continue.

De Gea, 32, is set to fall out of contract in the off-season after 12 years at Old Trafford. The Spain international has been the club’s number one for more than a decade. However, following a few high-profile blunders, a number of pundits have suggested that he needs to be moved on.

United legend Roy Keane is among those who believe he should be shown the exit door.

But a report earlier this week claimed the former Atletico Madrid ace was close to agreeing new terms at the Theatre of Dreams.

Whether that turns out to be correct only time will tell. But, if reports are to be believed, manager Erik ten Hag is set to swell his goalkeeping ranks anyway.

Brentford shot-stopper David Raya is set to leave the Bees this summer. And Manchester United are among a number of clubs to have been linked with the Spaniard.

However, Gazzetta dello Sport state on Thursday that Vicario is the man they are targeting.

The 26-year-old has enjoyed 68 Serie A outings for Gli Azzurri across two seasons.

And he has helped his club to 14th spot in the Italian top-flight table this term with one match still to play.

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He is maybe a player that pundits will not have expected United to go for, with a lack of international and big-club experience.

But United’s scouts have clearly seen something they like.

Vicario ticks many boxes for Man United move

De Gea’s future looks set to be resolved sooner rather than later. But Vicario may still be on the radar regardless of what happens to the veteran.

However, the north-west giants are not the only club to have been mentioned in connection with the towering keeper.

Italian champions Napoli and Champions League finalists Inter Milan are also said to be keeping tabs on the Udine-born ace.

And it is easy to see why he is in demand. His shot-stopping ability has helped keep Empoli out of the drop zone, while he is also comfortable coming off his line.

But he is also happy playing the ball out from the back and is accurate with his distribution.

Whether or not Ten Hag would see him as a first-choice keeper is open to debate. But he has always said he wants competition for places at Old Trafford.

Empoli are said to want around €25m for their player but could be open to negotiations.

Vicario has yet to play international football but has been an unused substitute on three occasions for Roberto Mancini’s side.

He has played for Venezia, Cagliari and Perugia in addition to Empoli and might be about to add United to his list of employers.

The Italian may not be well known at the moment but the calibre of clubs looking at him means he clearly knows what he is doing.

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