MANCHESTER UNITED plan an embarrassing U-turn by pleading with dumped keeper David de Gea to return on a short-term deal.
The club are worried they will be short of keepers when Cameroon No 1 Andre Onana — De Gea’s replacement — goes to the Africa Cup of Nations in the new year.
Man Utd were caught off-guard after Onana performed a U-turn on his international retirement.
Afcon runs from January 13 to February 11, meaning the £43.8million summer signing could miss up to eight United matches.
So the club are ready to turn to De Gea — having booted him out in the summer.
The Spaniard, 32, spent 12 years at Old Trafford before he left when his contract ran out.
He has not played for another club since.
De Gea was offered reduced terms to stay at United, with his wages being slashed from £375,000 a week to £200,000 a week.
But even that deal was taken off the table in the end.
Amazingly, United also asked him not to agree to join another club until they had completed Onana’s transfer.
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It was seen as poor treatment for the longest-serving goalkeeper in their history and someone who had just won the Premier League’s Goldon Glove.
United have bought Altay Bayindir from Fenerbahce for £4.3m but Tom Heaton would be the only other stopper at the club during the Afcon tournament.
Red Devils captain Bruno Fernandes, who recently met up with De Gea in Manchester, previously expressed his regret that the Spaniard did not get a proper send-off.
That could now happen if the player accepts the short-term deal.
Many feel De Gea should have been kept on given Onana’s form.
But ex-Inter Milan star Onana, 27, was the hero on Tuesday with an injury-time penalty save that helped United to a 1-0 Champions League win over Copenhagen.
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