Man Utd chief Murtough ‘working on record transfer’ for Diogo Costa

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Manchester United are reportedly working on a deal to sign Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa, in what could be a ‘world record’ move. With David de Gea out of contract at the end of the season, the Red Devils are desperate to strengthen their options between the sticks.

De Gea has been a stalwart at Old Trafford since his arrival at the club from Atletico Madrid in 2011. However, United are reportedly not willing to offer the goalkeeper a bumper contract extension for the 32-year-old, instead putting a ‘reduced wage’ deal on the table.

Though regardless of whether De Gea pens the new contract, Erik ten Hag is keen to find a long-term successor for the Spain international and has set chief John Murtough to work. According to AS, United are working towards a deal for Costa, who broke into the Porto first-team last season and has continued to shine since.

The 21-year-old is not short of suitors, with Chelsea also thought to be interested as they look for a replacement for wantaway star Edouard Mendy. But the Red Devils appear to have stolen a march on their rivals by opening talks with Porto already.

Reports suggest that United are willing to bid over £72million for Costa, which would make him the most expensive goalkeeper in history, breaking Kepa Arrizabalaga’s record. With several clubs in the market for a long-term shot-stopper, it remains to be seen whether a bidding war breaks out for the goalkeeper in January or if United are only the club willing to meet Porto’s significant asking price for their No 1.

De Gea penning a new deal would certainly decrease the necessity of signing Costa, though that would mean that he is prepared to take an enormous pay cut from £375,000 per week to £100,000. Dean Henderson is, of course, an option for Ten Hag, and is enjoying regular minutes with Nottingham Forest this season, though he is not prepared to return to the Theatre of Dreams to play second fiddle to another goalkeeper.

Ten Hag reassured De Gea earlier this week by giving him a vote of confidence in his press conference, saying: “I am very happy with David. He is only 31 years old, he is fit and he can progress even more. He was already impressive with United and will be in the future.”

The former Ajax manager also made it no secret that his club are in the market for a striker in January following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. Cody Gakpo was a top target, though Liverpool have now struck a deal with PSV to sign the Netherlands international.

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