Manchester United step up Begovic chase

Sir Alex Ferguson is prepared to listen to offers for Anders Lindegaard after David De Gea’s improved displays prompted an Old Trafford re-think

By Wayne Veysey | Chief Correspondent

Manchester United are preparing to sell Anders Lindegaard in the summer as they make room for the arrival of top goalkeeper target Asmir Begovic, understands.

United have been closely monitoring the Stoke No.1 since last summer due to doubts over Lindegaard and David De Gea.

The Spaniard has been short-listed by Barcelona as a replacement for Victor Valdes, who is set to leave Camp Nou in the summer following a breakdown in contract talks with the runaway La Liga leaders. understands that United could have been tempted into off-loading De Gea if they recouped the €21 million fee they paid to Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011.

But De Gea’s improved displays either side of the new year, most notably in the 1-1 draw against Real Madrid last Wednesday, has prompted a major re-think at Old Trafford.

Lindegaard and De Gea were rotated in goal by Ferguson earlier in the season but the Dane has slipped down the pecking order and has made only one appearance in the FA Cup since conceding three goals at Reading on December 1.

The likelihood is that Lindegaard, who arrived at Old Trafford for €4m in January 2011, is likely to be moved on in the summer.

As revealed by, Arsenal have also shown a strong interest in Begovic and had an enquiry rebuffed by Stoke on deadline day.

The Bosnian acknowledges that Stoke’s capture of Jack Butland from Birmingham City last month will prompt his departure from the Britannia Stadium at the end of the season.

“I believe that Stoke didn’t buy Butland to be a reserve so I think I’m going to be sold in the summer,” Begovic told Oslobodjenje earlier this month.

“I read in the papers that I said no to City and yes to United. But the truth is, I haven’t decided on anything.

“I didn’t say yes or no to anybody. I haven’t signed anything – no contract, no pre-contract. But I think I’m going to be sold in the summer.

“To whom? I can’t move to a smaller club and I also know that some top clubs are interested in me. They are also the only ones who can afford the fee.”

England reserve keeper Butland will link up with Stoke in the summer after he was loaned back to Birmingham for the rest of the season.

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