Erik ten Hag confirms Jack Butland move and believes Manchester United need three senior keepers

Erik ten Hag has revealed Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Crystal Palace keeper Jack Butland and has stressed the importance of having three experienced goalkeepers at Old Trafford.

Martin Dubravka's season-long loan at Old Trafford abruptly ended after he was recalled by Newcastle, leaving Tom Heaton as the only understudy to first-choice David de Gea in United's first team.

United have earmarked Crystal Palace custodian Butland, capped nine times by England between 2012 and 2018, to fill the void although the 29-year-old is unlikely to feature in the FA Cup against Everton on Friday.

While Ten Hag did not divulge any details about the signing of Butland, the United boss wants to avoid a similar situation to his last season at Ajax, when several injuries led to a goalkeeper shortage.

"We need a squad with three experienced goalkeepers," Ten Hag said. "What is (Butland) bringing? I'm really happy with David, it's quite clear he's our number one but something can happen with David.

"You have to be prepared for that and not be in such a moment where you have only one experienced (goalkeeper), you can be unlucky. Last year I had this situation with Ajax.

"We had three goalies injured and you don't want to be in a situation that at the end of the season, hopefully when you can play for trophies, that you have to put in a young keeper.

"You can't expect it from the young goalkeeper but also it could kill your season and that is what you have to be prepared for."

Ten Hag is preparing to embark upon his first experience of the FA Cup, having won the Dutch equivalent once as a player with FC Twente and twice as a manager with Ajax.

While he appreciates the significance of the FA Cup ahead of United's third-round tie against Everton, Ten Hag has not allowed his mind to drift towards thoughts of lifting a trophy in his first season.

"The cup is always special," he said. "I know in England, the FA Cup has even more higher expectations and higher standards than in the Netherlands. In not so many games, you can achieve a lot.

"I think we are in a good position, we are where we want to be. But I don't think too far ahead. I don't think about (winning a trophy this season). When you think too far ahead, you get distracted.

"Don't do it, focus on the game, focus on your progress and the team performance and development, it's all about that.

"There are many elements in our game that we have to improve. (We have to) work together to get it better."

United have won all four matches without conceding a goal since the resumption of club football following the World Cup.

Marcus Rashford has been central to their good form, scoring in all four games, but Ten Hag still expects more of the England forward.

"A player like Marcus but also others in our squad like Anthony Martial, it's the same," Ten Hag added.

"When they stay in the game, mentally focused, 100 per cent concentration, they have all the skills and need only one moment to change the game in a positive way.

"If he develops that skill, he will score more goals and contribute to a successful season."

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