Man Utd face imminent transfer call after U-turn and "unfinished business" vow

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Tom Heaton is Man Utd
Tom Heaton is Man Utd's current second-choice goalkeeper (Image: Getty Images)

Manchester United are weighing up whether to replace or stick with Tom Heaton after Martin Dubravka's premature departure from Old Trafford on New Year's Day.

Newcastle decided to recall the Slovakian goalkeeper from his season-long loan spell at the Red Devils, having only joined the club back in August. However, with Loris Karius set to leave the Magpies at the end of his short-term contract this month, Eddie Howe has chosen to bring Dubravka back to compete with Nick Pope for the No.1 shirt.

It is a decision that has given Erik ten Hag a major dilemma, however, as United could go out and sign a first-choice goalkeeper in the January transfer window with David de Gea's deal running out in June. The Red Devils might instead look to sign another back-up for the Spaniard in a similar role to the one Dubravka deployed.

But Ten Hag could also stick with what they have got in their ranks and promote Heaton to second-choice 'keeper, with Nathan Bishop as their number three. Heaton played over 50 matches for Burnley in the Premier League and has clocked up 378 appearances in his career, having first came through the ranks at United in 2005.

Although Heaton hasn't made a competitive appearance under Ten Hag so far, United are considering whether to keep him or replace him and sign a new 'keeper in the window. However, the 36-year-old spoke about his future in the summer and how he is determined to force his way into his plans.

Marcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash eidehiqdqikinvMarcel Sabitzer completes Man Utd transfer after last-minute deadline day dash

"I was hoping [to be second choice]. I was hoping to go in and challenge," he said, via Manchester Evening News back in July. "I knew the situation so, to some degree, it was my own fault but you always back yourself a little bit. I can't have too many complaints.

Does Tom Heaton deserve more game time at Man Utd? Let us know in the comments below!

Man Utd face imminent transfer call after U-turn and "unfinished business" vowMan Utd goalkeeper Tom Heaton (Getty Images)

"I always felt a little bit of unfinished business [at the club] from my point of view and there were a lot of positives to coming back. The fact is that as a footballer, there's no substitute for playing. I've thoroughly enjoyed pre-season and had two-and-a-half games. Every time I pull on the shirt it feels great and I'll be chasing more of it.

"Getting out there and pulling the shirt on, albeit pre-season, there's no better feeling. Even on tour, when I got 30 minutes against Liverpool and a start in Melbourne, there's no feeling like playing. It was a little bit frustrating for me on the back of last year and only playing one game."

Meanwhile, De Gea's future has been under question in recent weeks with his contract up this summer and Ten Hag said in November he will have a think about De Gea during the World Cup. The Spaniard kept another clean sheet for United on Saturday in a 1-0 win over Wolves.

Kieran King

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