Bengaluru, November 4: Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Mattew Ryan has emerged as a shock target to replace David De Gea at Manchester United.
The Old Trafford hierarchy are secretly planning for life without their Spanish keeper after he decided not to sign the new deal that has been dangled in front of him.
And that has seen them step up their recruitment drive, with Brighton’s highly-rated Ryan a surprise name at the top of their hit-list.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, who is represented by De Gea’s agent, Jorge Mendes, admitted he is “not confident” of keeping his No 1 at the club.
Even though the former Atletico star’s dream of a return to Madrid was wrecked when Real signed Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea, he will still let his contract run down.
Juventus are keen to land De Gea but Paris Saint-Germain will offer the 27-year-old anything he wants to help them fulfil their ambition of building a side capable of finally winning the Champions League.
Aussie custodian Ryan, 26, has impressed for Brighton since his £5million switch from Valencia in July 2017.
He was praised as Chris Hughton’s side racked up 1-0 wins over West Ham, Newcastle and Wolves to move up to 11th.
United believe the 6ft 2in Ryan, who was named the best keeper in Belgium during each of his two years at Club Brugge, is ready to take the step up to a big six club.
He still has three and a half years left on his Brighton deal.
But while boss Hughton would be reluctant to lose his star stopper, it would be difficult to stand in his way if the Red Devils come in with a decent offer.
Ryan is also the number one for his country Australia and he looks ready for a big club considering his performances in the past few years.