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Report: Manchester United Eye Jordan Pickford as David De Gea Replacement

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist INovember 18, 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 11:  Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford reacts during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Everton FC at Stamford Bridge on November 11, 2018 in London, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Manchester United are reportedly considering Everton's Jordan Pickford as a possible replacement for David De Gea, should the goalkeeper opt to leave Old Trafford. 

De Gea has yet to commit his future to the Red Devils, and Italian champions Juventus may try to sign him in the summer transfer window, according to the Sun's Alan Nixon.

Jose Mourinho's side have not decided if they will sell this summer, but they are certain that Pickford would be the "perfect replacement" if De Gea does move on, per the report.

De Gea's future at Manchester United has become uncertain with the Spain international reluctant to commit to the club because of their poor form this season, according to the Telegraph's James Ducker.

His contract expires at the end of this season, although the Red Devils do have the option to extend it until June 2020, per the report.

De Gea is widely regarded as one of Europe's finest goalkeepers and is a crucial player for the club. He arrived in 2011 from Atletico Madrid and has won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Europa League during his time at Old Trafford.

However, the team look a long way off challenging for the title and are 12 points behind leaders Manchester City after only 12 games. United may also find it difficult to secure the top-four finish needed to guarantee a place in next season's UEFA Champions League.

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De Gea has been part of a leaky United defence this season:

ESPN FC @ESPNFC

David De Gea is on pace to allow 67 goals this season 😳 (H/T @oilysailor) https://t.co/dA7z4N9Hh9

He's also gotten criticized at the international level. Spain conceded three in their defeat to Croatia on Thursday, but Luis Enrique has said it's "unfair" to single one player out, per Glen Williams of MailOnline.

Bleacher Report's Rob Blanchette explained why De Gea could be tempted to leave Manchester United:

Rob Blanchette @_Rob_B

You can’t blame De Gea or Pogba for considering their futures. #MUFC are a massive club but we’re quickly becoming irrelevant in football terms. Sanchez must have arrived in Jan and thought ‘WHAT ARE THESE TACTICS??!!’ It’s all embarrassing for Utd fans. Only change will help.

The 28-year-old's departure would be a massive blow, and Manchester United would need an elite goalkeeper to replace him.

Pickford is not in that class just yet, but his reputation has grown steadily since his arrival at Everton from Sunderland in 2017.

He has become England's first choice under manager Gareth Southgate and started every match at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, playing a key role in their shoot-out win over Colombia:

OptaJoe @OptaJoe

1998 - Jordan Pickford was the first England goalkeeper to save a penalty in a penalty shoot-out at a major tournament since David Seaman at World Cup 1998 against Argentina. Crucial. #COLENG #ENG #WorldCup #ThreeLions https://t.co/qdwp7zRezO

His successful World Cup campaign led him to commit his long-term future to Everton in September, as he signed a six-year contract designed to keep him at Goodison Park until 2024.

The 24-year-old is a good shot-stopper, distributes the ball well and showed in the World Cup he can keep his composure under pressure. 

Manchester United will undoubtedly do all they can to keep De Gea, but Pickford looks to be an option if they are unable to persuade the Spain international to remain at Old Trafford.

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