Man Utd to capture Clockwork Orange and Ajax keeper Cillessen
As the David de Gea contract saga continues to rumble on, Manchester United (9/2 with Coral to win the Premier League next season) are being linked to a number of high-profile post protectors, with Ajax star Jasper Cillessen now expected to be next to line up in net for the Red Devils.
United tactician Louis van Gaal recently told media: “When we have a very good scouting commission, then we shall already know who shall be the next goalkeeper. We also have a list of goalkeepers who can replace him because we have to be organised always.”
According to reports Clockwork Orange custodian Cillessen, who was former Netherlands boss Van Gaal’s number one during the 2014 World Cup, has been championed by Red Devils goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek to take De Gea’s place, should he depart.
A talented distributor of the ball, technically gifted keeper Cillessen would certainly fit in with Van Gaal’s philosophy of playing out from the back, though his strength and set piece presence could be a concern were the 26-year-old to switch from the Eredivise to the more physical and competitive Premier League.
Having already played under Van Gaal, however, and also plied his trade for a top team such as Ajax and achieved a third place finish in Brazil with Clockwork Orange, Cillessen is used to playing in a high-pressure environment.
Questions remain over whether Cillessen is truly top quality, though, as Van Gaal made the controversial decision to substitute the stopper against Costa Rica, when the World Cup quarter-final clash finished in a dramatic penalty shootout.
The Dutch coach opted to replace Cillessen with Newcastle United custodian Tim Krul for the spotkicks, with the Magpies man repaying his faith by stopping two, as Cillessen looked on from the bench.
Relive the memorable World Cup moment here:
Frank de Boer’s side were rumoured to want £25m from the Red Devils for their Netherlands number one, but ex-Arsenal and Clockwork Orange wingman Marc Overmars, now director of football for Amsterdam giants Ajax, has denied reports they are willing to put their star up for sale.
Speaking recently, Overmars told Dutch media: “Jasper is not for sale, not even for €25 million.”
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 20, 2015
The Red Devils are undoubtedly still hoping De Gea, who was recently crowned Manchester United’s Player of the Season for the second successive campaign, will stay put this summer. Should the Spaniard make an Old Trafford exit, however, Van Gaal should have more than just highly-rated Cillessen to choose from.