Manchester United are reportedly exploring a move to bring David de Gea back to Old Trafford, three months after letting him walk out the door.
Erik ten Hag was keen to take his side in a new direction in the summer and central to that was to land a new No 1 goalkeeper, one he felt could deliver the out-from-the-back style he craves.
The United boss turned to Andre Onana, who arrived for £47million from Inter Milan, and De Gea was shown the door.
But with Onana potentially set to miss as many as eight games in January, should he elect to join up with Cameroon for the Africa Cup of Nations, United are reportedly keen to safe-proof themselves.
The Sun claim that United are plotting a u-turn on De Gea to bring him back to the club, particularly given he remains a free agent since leaving.
Should Onana go away with his nation, Ten Hag would be left with 25-year-old summer signing Altay Bayindir – who has yet to make an appearance for United – and experienced campaigner Tom Heaton, who has struggled for injury this season.
The Sun’s report details how United are ready to turn to De Gea, despite deeming him surplus to requirements a few months ago. It should be said that United looked to retain De Gea before he left, but on a reduced wage.
He refused to take the drastic pay cut on his £375,000-a-week wages after months of lengthy negotiations with the club but with no new club in sight, it is reported that a marriage of convenience in the New Year could be an option.
De Gea reunited with his old Manchester United team-mates on Monday, as Bruno Fernandes took to social media to share his ‘coffee and friends’ date with the goalkeeper and a handful of Red Devils stars.
The Spaniard showed last weekend how he was still close to the United captain, sharing a selfie of the pair embracing on Instagram.
De Gea and Fernandes continued to spend plenty of time together in the wake of Manchester United’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane on Saturday, as the Portuguese star shared a photograph of them enjoying coffee alongside his team-mates Victor Lindelof, Tom Heaton and Raphael Varane.
‘Coffee and friends, it’s always a good choice,’ Fernandes wrote on Instagram.
‘Brothers,’ De Gea replied with a love-heart emoji.
Onana has endured a tough start to the season, with a number of high profile mistakes.
But he was the man of the moment on Tuesday against FC Copenhagen making a number of fine saves, not least the last-second penalty that secured a precious three points in the Champions League.
The hope now is that that moment of magic can ignite Onana and reestablish his previously unwavering confidence. But talk around De Gea will add a buzz around Old Trafford with some supporters, as well as many of the players.
Fernandes previously stated how he was left upset that De Gea never got a proper send off at the Theatre of Dreams in front of a crowd. De Gea has shared plenty of footage of him keeping sharp in training drills on his own to make sure he is ready to be called upon whenever an offer he is interested in comes his way.
For now he has enjoyed some down time in Manchester. In his initial Instagram post shared over the weekend, De Gea and Fernandes smiled while embracing and wearing matching shirts in the picture, captioned ‘together again’. And several Man United supporters took the opportunity to implore De Gea to return in the wake of Onana’s recent run.
‘Come back in January,’ one fan eagerly wrote on Instagram. Another added: ‘Yeeeeeees! Wish we had you guys back together at United!’ A third wrote: ‘Please come back to United Dave, we’re sorry, on behalf of everyone at United.’
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