By 90Min
November 06, 2018

The coveted number one jersey for Manchester United has seen many greats - Peter Schmeichel, Edwin van der Sar, and more recently, David de Gea, whose consistently excellent performances have seen him repeatedly linked with Real Madrid.

De Gea almost joined the Spanish giants in August 2015 on a dramatic transfer deadline day - the deal only falling through because of a supposedly faulty fax machine.

However, the Spaniard's heart may be in Madrid, but should his brain should now be focusing on Turin? Italian champions Juventus are the latest club to be linked with a move for La Roja's number one as they seemingly embark on a journey towards footballing domination.

Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Since the departure of Schmeichel in 1999, the Red Devils struggled to find a man capable of filling the gloves of the Dane - who was arguably United's greatest ever 'keeper.


Sir Alex Ferguson dabbled with Australian Mark Bosnich, the eccentric Fabien Barthez, Roy Carroll and Tim Howard, before finally sealing a move for Dutchman Van der Sar.

He came to United at the ripe age of 34 for £2m and was a stellar performer for six years in Manchester, and the unlikely solution to a goalkeeping problem that had been haunting United ever since Schmeichel hung up his gloves.

However, Van der Sar was no long term fix and Sir Alex needed to find a young keeper to stand between those Old Trafford sticks for years to come - step forward De Gea.

Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

The 20-year-old joined Manchester United from Atletico Madrid for a fee around £27m but his career at Old Trafford didn't get off to the best of starts.

The Spaniard was regularly criticised for his inability to catch crosses and poor distribution skills but Sir Alex kept faith in the youngster and since, De Gea has gone on to make a name for himself - establishing himself as one of the greatest goalkeepers in world football. 

Naturally, a G.O.A.T. would be linked with La Liga's two powerhouses; Real Madrid and Barcelona, however, this year has seen the return of a familiar name to our screens and speakers - Italian giants Juventus. 

Since the marquee signing of Cristiano Ronaldo, the eyes of the football world have been placed in Turin as they continue an unbeaten season with their Portuguese attacking star.

Looking at the team sheet of Juventus, it is littered with stars and talent, young and old and a weak spot is difficult to find outfield - yet there is something peculiar about having a team this great, in front of a goalkeeper like Wojciech Szczesny.


The Polish international had big gloves to fill himself, replacing legendary Gianluigi Buffon in the Juventus goal but boss Massimiliano Allegri, continues to back Szczesny, even saying, "I've said it before and I'll say it again, Szczesny is the heir to Buffon," in a press conference in Italy.

The former Arsenal number one has been solid if unexceptional for Juventus this season - starting all games and keeping three clean sheets in the Serie A but has never seemed the long term replacement of legend Buffon.

To really dominate, Juve need a strong keeper and another world class signing. Arguably, David de Gea needs to move on too and the 27-year-old would slot straight in to a strong Juve side who could topple Europe's most successful clubs.

Manchester United have slowly descended into a team not capable of competing with the world's elite, even with a world class player like the Spain goalkeeper, and now De Gea stands out as a top talent in a largely underperforming team.

Real Madrid have now filled their goalkeeping position with ex-Chelsea star Thibaut Courtois joining in the summer. 

TF-Images/GettyImages

This makes Turin the perfect destination for the Spaniard who has made nearly 300 Premier league appearances, keeping 94 clean sheets. 

With talk around Old Trafford suggesting De Gea may be in line for a new deal in Manchester, the goalkeeper may however choose the modern trend of running down his contract - leaving him free to any club by 2020. His current deal expires at the end of the season, though United do retain a clause to extend his deal by a year should they choose.

Whether De Gea chooses to stay beyond then is obviously his choice, but he should seriously consider the potential offer on the table from one of Europe's leading clubs.

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