Hull City plotting Man United transfer swoop but face European competition
Red Devils stopper Matej Kovar is wanted by the Tigers to bolster their own goalkeeping ranks – but other clubs are keen
Hull City’s 2023-24 Championship campaign got off to the worst possible start on Saturday afternoon when they were sucker-punched in the last minute by Norwich at Carrow Road.
Liam Delap’s debut goal in the first half gave the Tigers the advantage before a strike from outside of the box from Jonathan Rowe levelled the contest before half-time.
The match looked to be potentially heading towards a draw when in stoppage time at the end of the game, the ball fell to Adam Idah inside the Hull box and the Republic of Ireland international made no mistake to fire home the winning goal for the Canaries.
It was a cruel blow for Liam Rosenior’s side but they are by far the finished article ahead of the closing of the transfer window on September 1.
Rosenior wants to strengthen his squad and has had a bid rejected for Derby County midfielder Max Bird, but it also looks like he wants to strengthen his goalkeeping department.
Nathan Baxter did not return to the MKM Stadium following his loan stints from Chelsea, with the 24-year-old signing permanently for Bolton Wanderers of League One, so Hull will have to look elsewhere for competition to Matt Ingram if they want it.
And according to The Sun, Hull are keen to sign Man United stopper Matej Kovar – whether that is on a permanent basis or on loan.
Reports from Kovar’s native Czech Republic last week linked the Tigers to his services, as well as Aston Villa as as backup goalkeeper and Cadiz of spain as well, with The Sun claiming that Red Star Belgrade are now considering a swoop too.
23-year-old Kovar, who has been capped at four different youth levels for the Czech Republic, signed for United in 2018 from FC Slovacko when he was 17 years of age.
Kovar became a regular for United’s reserve team not long after his arrival but he has gained experience on loan spells away from Old Trafford, with moves in 2020 and 2022 to Swindon Town and Burton Albion respectively.
Last year though saw Kovar make his most significant temporary exit from United when he signed for Sparta Prague in his home nation on loan – he played 32 times in all competitions and kept 11 clean sheets before heading back to Manchester, but not before getting his hands on the Czech First League title.
What is Matej Kovar’s situation with Man United?
In September 2022, Kovar signed a new contract at Old Trafford which keeps him on the books of the club until the summer of 2025, although United also have a one-year option that they could trigger as well to keep the Czech stopper on for another 12 months.
With the signing of Andre Onana though this summer, Kovar is not going to get a chance at United in the near future, with Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton waiting in reserve.
Kovar did get some game-time in pre-season for United’s first-team but that is about as good as it will get as they are ready to sanction an exit.