Manchester Utd: 5 Goalkeepers Who Could Replace David De Gea

Ryan Bailey@ryanjaybaileyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 29, 2013

Manchester Utd: 5 Goalkeepers Who Could Replace David De Gea

0 of 5

    Since joining Manchester United in 2011, David De Gea has been an unpredictable entity, as the 22-year-old Spaniard regularly augments superb performances with game-changing errors.

    The former Atletico Madrid shot-stopper has come under fire following the Red Devils' 1-1 draw with Tottenham, where he was perceived to be at fault for Clint Dempsey's late equaliser.

    Some have attacked him, others have jumped to his defence, but one thing is clear: De Gea is not yet as consistent as his European Cup-winning predecessors Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar.

    If Sir Alex Ferguson decides to cut his losses with De Gea—a potentially regrettable move in light of Schmeichel's patchy form when he first joined the Manchester side—plenty of worthy candidates exist for the job of tending net at Old Trafford 

    Here are five of them.

Victor Valdes

1 of 5

    Victor Valdes has been a loyal servant to Barcelona since he was ten years old and has won five La Liga titles, two Cope del Reys and two European Cups with the Catalan outfit.

    Soon after Pep Guardiola announced his new role at Bayern Munich, however, the Catalonian communicated his "irrevocable decision" to not sign a new contract with the Blaugrana.

    Valdes' deal runs out in 2014, leading most to believe he will leave this summer, with Bayern Munich a likely destination.

    However with Manuel Neuer on the books, it is difficult to see where the 30-year-old would fit in.

    The Spaniard may find a better home at Old Trafford, where his trophy-winning experience and safe hands would be highly valued.

    It is thought that Barcelona are interested in De Gea—and the 22-year-old's girlfriend told a Catalan radio station that he would welcome a move to the Spanish league leaders—so a swap deal could make perfect sense.

Iker Casillas

2 of 5

    Much has been made of a rumoured "us or him" ultimatum issued by several Real Madrid players in relation to coach Jose Mourinho.

    If the Special One does stay in the Spanish capital, out-of-favor Iker Casillas may look to continue his career elsewhere, and where better than the Theatre of Dreams?

    The Express believes the World Cup-winning keeper is on Manchester United's transfer shortlist, with De Gea reportedly lined up to fill his boots at the Bernabeu.

    If Ferguson could pick any goalkeeper, the man who has been voted the FIFPro World's Best Goalkeeper for the past five years is surely a strong choice.

Michel Vorm

3 of 5

    A number of players from Michael Laudrup's high-flying Swansea squad have been subject to transfer rumors—none more so than Dutch keeper, Michel Vorm.

    The 29-year-old has been exceptional since joining the Swans in 2011, maintaining his reputation as a "penalty killer" and sweeping the board at Swansea's 2011/12 awards event

    The Metro (via Spanish paper El Mundo Deportivo) report that Vorm is on a Barcelona shortlist that also includes Valencia's Vicente Guaita and Ajax's Kenneth Vermeer.

    The London-based paper, however, believes that Barca will have a fight on their hands, as Vorm is also on Sir Alex Ferguson's wish list.

    With plenty of Premier League experience and 14 clean sheets in the league last season—a tally bettered only by Tim Krul and Joe Hart—it is easy to see why the Dutchman could be a good fit at United.

Manuel Neuer

4 of 5

    If, for some reason, Pep Guardiola sees fit to replace Manuel Neuer with Victor Valdes at Bayern Munich, the German No. 1 would almost certainly be able to find a home at Old Trafford.

    Sir Alex Ferguson has made no secret of his admiration for the 26-year-old, particularly after a 2011 Champions League semifinal match with Schalke. Fergie hailed Neuer's performance as the "finest display" he had seen against the Red Devils in all his time at the club.

    He has been linked with a move to United on several occasions since.

    Ferguson's Champions League-winning sides of 1999 and 2008 both featured world class goalkeepers—Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar—and the experienced German is certainly of a similar calibre.

Asmir Begovic

5 of 5

    Since moving from Portsmouth to Stoke in 2011, Asmir Begovic has become one of the Premier League's most reliable goalkeepers on one of the league's most impressive defences.

    Statistically, he is the second-best goalkeeper in the league—behind Joe Hart—with nine clean sheets. On average, he concedes once every 11 shots faced, whereas David De Gea concedes from approximately every tenth shot.

    The Daily Mail reports that Begovic has "set his heart" on a £15 million move to Old Trafford, while The Mirror believe he may have the pick of both Manchester clubs.

    The Bosnian may not have the "big game" experience of many of his contemporaries on this list, but the 25-year-old has certainly proven he can hold his own against the Premier League's elite.