Manchester United back-up goalkeeper Tom Heaton has been ruled out until mid-April with an ankle injury.

The 36-year-old has featured twice for United this season, keeping clean sheets in the EFL Cup wins over Charlton Athletic and Nottingham Forest.

However, Heaton was not part of Erik ten Hag's squad for the dramatic 3-1 FA Cup victory against Fulham prior to the international break after sustaining an injury in training.

And a club statement confirmed on Thursday the three-cap England international will miss "several of United's upcoming matches".

"Unfortunately, the day before the Fulham game I rolled my ankle in training," Heaton said.

"Thankfully, it's not too bad but it'll mean a couple of weeks out. I should be back some point in April, hopefully halfway through.

"It's an occupational hazard unfortunately, a bit of a random one. I just went over on the ankle and nicked the ligament."

January recruit Jack Butland will now provide competition for first-choice keeper David de Gea, who has played the full 90 minutes in 42 of United's 46 games this season.

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag hailed the performance of Lisandro Martinez, who he believes will form an impressive partnership with Raphael Varane.

The Argentine made his debut for the club during the final pre-season match, a 1-1 draw against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford, and caught the eye alongside the World Cup winner.

Martinez is a player Ten Hag knows well following their time together at Ajax, and United's boss hinted that the centre-back could establish himself as Varane's partner for the season ahead, which could cast further doubt on Harry Maguire's status as a first-team regular.

"It was a really good combination with Rapha. They played solid that's good to see. He integrated quite well into the team," he told MUTV.

United goalkeeper Tom Heaton was equally impressed by the performance of his new team-mate.

"That's been the case all week, I really enjoyed playing with him today. I think he'll be top, top player for the club," Heaton told MUTV.

"I thought he was outstanding today and I'm sure everyone is looking forward to watching him play this year.

"I think [his height] has been talked about a little unfairly. What he brings, his physicality, how he uses his body, his leap, what he gives you in terms of manoeuvrability and all the ball and personality wise, I think he will add an awful lot to the team.

"Even this week, you can see already what he brings. He brings that larger than life personality, I think he was excellent today and I look forward to hopefully playing with him more this year."

Manchester United begin their Premier League campaign against Brighton and Hove Albion on August 7, then tackle Brentford before a huge clash against Liverpool later next month.

Speculation is beginning to grow around the vacant Tottenham coaching position after Jose Mourinho's exit last week.

Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy is on the hunt as Spurs try to return to England's top echelon.

Spurs appear set to miss out on Champions League football for the second straight season.



Tottenham are planning a move to recruit Brendan Rodgers from Leicester City as their new head coach this off-season according to The Sun.

Levy is a long-time admirer of the former Liverpool coach although he reportedly needs to convince his fellow Spurs board executives after disparaging comments Rodgers made about the club years ago.

Rodgers has been in charge of Leicester since 2019 with the Foxes firmly in the hunt for a top four finish this term.



- Borussia Monchengladbach forward Alassane Plea is being tracked by Premier League pair Arsenal and Manchester United claims the Mail.

- Inter Milan are interested in outgoing Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero, but Barcelona remain favourites to land him reports Tuttosport.

- The Sun reports Manchester United could make a surprise move for 35-year-old goalkeeper Tom Heaton who spent time with the club as a youngster and is currently back-up at Aston Villa.

- Ajax are ready to sell full-back Nicolas Tagliafico as his admirers circle, including Leeds United, Inter Milan and Manchester City according to the Mail.

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