Manchester United’s philosophy of catching them young and let them develop under the system continues as latest goalkeeping target David De Gea has revealed he turned down a move to Wigan last year in order to keep his dream of replacing Edwin Van der Sar alive. The Atletico Madrid goalkeeper is on Sir Alex Ferguson’s radar as the United manager plans for life without the 39 year old Dutchman.
Ferguson has sent scouts to run the rule over De Gea, 19, recently and the reports have been favourable. With Ben Foster struggling to live up to his potential, United are on the look out for possible replacements. Although De Gea is not interested in leaving Atletico just yet, he has told Ferguson he would be willing to move to Old Trafford in the future. “All I know is what Atletico have told me, there has been contact between the two clubs” he said “I believe now is not the time to move. I was about to go to Wigan last summer but I wanted to remain at Atletico and take my opportunity another time”
‘The Premier League would be enjoyable for any player and it is an option I would like a bit later on in my life. I won’t rule anything out but at the moment my head is focused on Atletico. For me, Van der Sar has been one of the best in the world in recent years”
It must be said that United has not got a good track record when it comes to producing their own goalkeepers, one has to go back to pre Schmeichel days before the last established one can be remembered. Many like Foster and Tomasz Kusczcak, who looks likely to be offloaded during the summer, showed plenty of promise but have never really grasped their opportunities.
Ferguson is also keeping a close eye on Roma midfield starlet Stefano Pettinari but the Giallorossi are desperate to stop United from raiding their best youngsters. They have already lost one teenage wonder boy to the Red Devils when they recruited Davide Petrucci in July 2008 and do not want the same thing to happen to one of their most promising schoolboys again.
Roma are reportedly ready to offer Pettinari a new contract to keep him at the club for another season while he continues his progress in their youth teams. United already have four Italian youngsters on their books with former Lazio striker Federico Macheda, Michele Fornasier (Fiorentina) and Alberto Massacci (Empoli) all signed for free after their sixteenth birthdays.
Who was your favourite home grown goalkeeper at United?