Manchester United are set to miss out on the signing Thomas Strakosha with the goalkeeper moving elsewhere in the Premier League.
What’s the word?
According to talkSPORT journalist Geoff Peters on Twitter, United had been close to striking a deal: “Manchester United are closing in on a deal for goalkeeper Thomas Strakosha. The 27-year-old Albanian international is available on a free transfer after leaving Lazio.”
After Dean Henderson was allowed to join Nottingham Forest on loan, Erik ten Hag was always likely to recruit a backup for David de Gea, and Strakosha would have represented a cheap and experienced option.
However, a big twist has emerged with Fabrizio Romano revealing on Monday that Brentford are actually set to sign him. He said: “Brentford FC are set to sign Thomas Strakosha on free transfer. It’s agreed and set to be completed with medical tests now ongoing, here we go.”
Ten Hag will be gutted
United’s summer business got off to a slow start so this update is hardly ideal for the club’s supporters and manager.
Tyrell Malacia had arrived from Feyenerood to bolster the new Dutch manager’s defensive options, but Strakosha sadly now won’t be able to strengthen another area in Ten Hag’s squad ahead of the new season.
At 27, he is an excellent age for a goalkeeper and has plenty of experience in Serie A, having made 208 appearances for Lazio during his time in Italy.
He is also first-choice for Albania and has earned 19 caps for his country, so he would definitely have looked to push De Gea for the starting spot at Old Trafford next season.
Last season saw the shot-stopper make 23 appearances in Serie A for Lazio and as a result, he could have provided genuine competition for the Red Devils’ current first-choice stopper, who has endured dips in form during his time at Old Trafford.
WhoScored suggests that Strakosha’s main strength is his long passing, which fits in with Ten Hag’s passing philosophy of building from the back, so it is easy to see why the former Ajax boss is keen to bring him in.
With the Premier League season set to kick off in less than a month’s time, United supporters will surely be gutted that they haven’t yet been able to recruit a Henderson replacement. This feels like a missed opportunity for the Red Devils.