Monday, January 30, 2023

Man Utd set to sign Butland as Ten Hag targets further reinforcements

SoccerNews in FA Cup 5 Jan 2023

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag confirmed Jack Butland is set to join the club on loan from Crystal Palace, as he eyed further opportunities to strengthen his squad in January.

United signed Martin Dubravka on a season-long loan deal to provide backup to David de Gea in the last transfer window, but they were left in need of a replacement when the Magpies recalled the Slovakia international on Sunday.

On Thursday, reports suggested the Red Devils were close to sealing a similar deal for Butland – who has made just 10 Premier League appearances since joining Palace from Stoke City in 2020.

Ten Hag confirmed the move was imminent in a press conference looking forward to Friday’s FA Cup tie against Everton, emphasising the importance of having a third experienced shot stopper alongside De Gea and Tom Heaton.

“Martin was recalled, and in our setup we need a squad with three experienced goalkeepers,” Ten Hag said.

“We have some young ones and they are doing well, but we have so many games, we need three good goalkeepers in training. If there are problems, we need experience in goal.

“I’m really happy with David, that is quite clear – he’s our number one and he’s performing really well. But as I always say, something can happen with David.

“You have to be prepared for when you are unlucky. Last year I had a situation with Ajax where we had three goalkeepers injured.

“You don’t want a situation at the end of the season – when hopefully you can play for trophies – where you have to put in a young goalkeeper.

“You can’t expect it from a young goalkeeper and it can kill your season. That’s what you have to be prepared for.”

United are also reportedly in the market for attacking reinforcements, with only Marcus Rashford (seven) scoring more than three Premier League goals for the side this term.

The likes of Joao Felix and Olivier Giroud have been linked with loan moves to Old Trafford as United seek a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, and Ten Hag says the club will look to be active.

Asked if United were looking to make more signings, Ten Hag said: “We always have to look for that. We push the players because good is not good enough.

“Also as an organisation, we have to push each other. When there are opportunities, at the top, you always have to be ready. My main focus is to get a better team, to improve the team.”

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