Benfica 6 ft 3 star key man rumoured with January move to Man Utd

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Manchester United have reportedly been closely watching Benfica stopper Odysseas Vlachodimos during the opening months of the 2022-23 season.

The 20-times English champions are allegedly in the market for a new long-term number one, with David de Gea’s deal at Old Trafford set to expire next June.

The Red Devils do have the option to extend De Gea’s contract for a further 12 months, while there has also been talk of a potential new long-term deal for the Spain international, who recently expressed a desire to stay at the club “for more years”.

“I’m just very focused on the games helping the team as much as I can. Of course, I would like to be here for more years, so let’s see what happens in the future. I’m really, really happy here,” he told BT Sport following his side’s win over Everton last weekend.

However, De Gea’s suitability for Erik ten Hag’s style of football has been questioned, and the team could reportedly look to bring in a new goalkeeper during next summer’s transfer window.

According to Sportime, the Red Devils have been intensively scouting Vlachodimos this term, with the Greece international viewed as a genuine target.

The report suggests that the Red Devils have stepped up their interest since first being rumoured over the summer, and there is a feeling that an offer in the region of £17.5m would be considered by Benfica.

The 28-year-old stopper has been in strong form for his Portuguese team at the start of this campaign, keeping nine clean sheets in 17 games in all competitions.

Vlachodimos has featured on nine occasions in the league, keeping six clean sheets, while he has conceded just three times in his four games in the group stage of the Champions League.

Since arriving from Panathinaikos in July 2018, the Greek has represented Portuguese giants, Benfica on 186 occasions in all competitions, however, his deal is set to expire in June 2024.

Dean Henderson is set to make a return to Man United next summer upon the completion of his loan spell at Nottingham Forest.

However, the England international could then be allowed to leave on a permanent basis, with Ten Hag not believed to view him as a future number one for the 20-times English champions.

Man United strengthen their goalkeeping department late in the summer window with the acquisition of Martin Dubravka on loan from Newcastle United, however, he is yet to make an appearance for the team and is unlikely to be signed on a permanent basis.

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