Sir Alex’s disregard for the Carling Cup (yeah, he’s won the past couple, doesn’t make it worthwhile) continued on Wednesday when he chose to have himself a wee trip to Spain to keep tabs on Champions League oppo Valencia, currently sitting in second place in La Liga despite the high-profile sales of David Villa and David Silva.
I’m not having a pop: it’s a tin pot trophy that clogs up the fixture list, and is only particularly useful when Liverpool want to pretend they’ve won the treble. Or embarrass themselves against fourth tier opposition. But the interesting sub-plot to Fergie’s scouting mission is the man Valencia were trying to beat: Atletico Madrid keeper David De Gea.
A new goalkeeper is pretty high on United’s list of priorities, what with van der Sar being well old and Tommy K looking for some first team football. We’re not talking peanuts for the stopper though: De Gea would supposedly set United back a cool £17million. At 19, De Gea is highly-rated as one for the future in Spain, as reflected in his new contract, which runs until 2013.
It’s in this new contract where the £17million figure comes from, as it’s in there as a release clause. However, with Atletico strapped for cash these days, Ferguson may find that De Gea would be available for a little less. Certainly, it’s hard to see the Glazers splashing out vast sums of money. Although it wouldn’t be entirely unpredictable for City to step in and sign him to clean Joe Hart’s boots.
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