Barcelona have reportedly set their sights on Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is being considered as a potential replacement for David de Gea.

According to a report by Spanish publication Don Balon, Manchester United are laying down the contingency plan in case David de Gea calls it quits in the summer transfer window. The Premier League heavyweights are now plotting a shock €150 million bid for Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who has become a key member at Barcelona.

Ter Stegen joined Barcelona from boyhood club Borussia Monchengladbach in the summer of 2014 with a burgeoning reputation of being one of the most promising young goalkeepers in Europe. In the four years that have followed, the German has progressed leaps and bounds and is now an indispensable member of the first-team squad at Camp Nou.

The 2017-18 season has well and truly been his most productive till date, with ter Stegen keeping a La Liga-high 18 clean sheets, with five further shutouts in the Champions League. More than the numbers, it has been his sheer impact in crunch situations that has made him such an important player for Ernesto Valverde.

Manchester United beckons? (Photo courtesy - Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Manchester United beckons? (Photo courtesy – Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

But, with great performances, the 25-year-old has also garnered interest from every nook and corner of Europe. The most prominent among the suitors are Manchester United, who are in a precarious situation with regards to the future of their goalkeeping supremo – David De Gea.

De Gea has been the subject of interest from Barcelona’s bitter rivals Real Madrid for well over three years now. Los Blancos are set to launch the offensive for the Manchester United number one in the coming summer transfer window as well, with PSG also reportedly in the fray.

De Gea’s deputy, Sergio Romero is being heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford as well, in search of regular first-team football. If both goalkeepers depart in the summer, Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho will be left with academy products Joel Pereira and the on-loan pair of Dean Henderson and Sam Johnstone at his disposal.

Their priority is to tie de Gea down to a new deal before he jets off to Russia with the Spanish National Side for the World Cup. But, in case they are unable to do so, and in case the shot stopper leaves, Manchester United are keeping their options open, making ter Stegen a viable target.

The Premier League heavyweights are also ready to splash the big bucks in order to secure the player’s services. The report suggests that Manchester United are prepared to shell out €150 million to make the Barcelona number one their record signing.

Barcelona though, are unwilling to let an important player like ter Stegen depart in the summer. Additionally, Manchester United have another stumbling block in their pursuit of the 25-year-old, whose release clause is worth €180 million.

It now remains to be seen if Manchester United will be prepared to pay the buyout clause, which would render Barcelona powerless in their bid to keep hold of ter Stegen. Any move for the German goalkeeper though, hinges on de Gea departing in the summer, and it will be interesting to see how things pan out in the coming months.

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