Could Kasper Schmeichel follow in his father's footsteps?

Peter Schmeichel earned legendary status at Manchester United after winning five Premier League titles and the Champions League during his time at the club.

Now, Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper is being linked with a sensational move to the Theatre of Dreams.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED CONSIDER SCHMEICHEL MOVE

Manchester United are lining up a transfer swoop for Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel to replace David de Gea, according to The Sun.

De Gea's position at United has come under threat following a slump in form for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, despite being contracted until 2023.

There have been calls for Dean Henderson, who has spent time on loan at Sheffield United, to return Old Trafford, however, Kasper – the son of Red Devils legend Peter – is reportedly seen as the perfect ready-made option.

 

ROUND-UP

Paris Saint-Germain are preparing a bid for Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara, says Le10Sport. Thiago has been tipped to join Premier League champions Liverpool, however, Ligue 1 holders PSG are believed to be in the mix for his signature.

- TF1 reports United have made contact with Monaco about a potential move for 19-year-old centre-back Benoit Badiashile, who has also been linked to Real Madrid and Bayer Leverkusen.

- According to Mundo Deportivo, Barcelona have ruled out a swap deal that would see Ivan Rakitic move to Juventus in exchange for Rodrigo Bentancur.

Milan have opened talks with Tottenham over the signing of right-back Serge Aurier, reports Sky Sport journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Juve are willing to offer Federico Bernardeschi and Cristian Romero to Serie A rivals Roma as part of a deal to sign Italian star Nicolo Zaniolo, claims SportMediaset. Zaniolo has also been linked to Madrid, Tottenham and former club Inter.

- Rennes sensation Eduardo Camavinga is willing to wait for a Madrid move until 2021-22, Marca claims. The 17-year-old has been heavily linked to the LaLiga champions as well as PSG.

Leicester City goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel leapt to the defence of Manchester United counterpart David de Gea amid mounting criticism of the Spain star.

De Gea's position as number one goalkeeper at Premier League giants United has once again been thrust into the spotlight following his inconsistent performances in 2019-20.

Calls for highly rated English keeper Dean Henderson – on loan at Sheffield United – to be recalled have grown louder following De Gea's nightmare display against Chelsea in last week's FA Cup semi-final at Wembley.

De Gea failed to keep out Olivier Giroud's close-range effort before he was beaten with embarrassing ease following Mason Mount's speculative long-range effort in Chelsea's 3-1 triumph, though the long-serving keeper retained his place in Wednesday's 1-1 Premier League draw against West Ham.

As United – third in the table – prepare for Sunday's blockbuster final-day trip to fifth-placed Leicester, which will determine who qualifies for next season's Champions League, Schmeichel backed De Gea.

"It can be very difficult and you've got to remember, and this is with absolutely no disrespect to journalists or pundits, but you've actually never stood in that goal," Schmeichel told Sky Sports.

"You would classify things as mistakes or errors, and there are things that are glaring sometimes, but often this narrative can be created around a goalkeeper because it's the pundits' and journalists' job to educate and that's their job.

"They're telling their educated opinions about goalkeeping, things like hand positions, feet positions, technical things which sometimes is quite damaging to a goalkeeper.

"You hear comments like, 'going with the wrong hand', or other throw away things that they'll say which will make the consumer or viewer think, 'oh yeah, that's right, I see he's done it again'.

"That's sometimes quite a dangerous narrative because all of a sudden it starts building momentum and for someone like David, I really feel for him because he has been unbelievable for so many years and every goalkeeper goes through periods [of poor form].

"There is a lot of pressure also in the sense that you now have an England goalkeeper coming through and, like it or not, in this country when you have an English goalkeeper, that means so much and they really do tend to build them up.

"I genuinely hope for someone like Dean Henderson, who's had an amazing season, that he can be allowed to develop. I hope for him, he gets another season, maybe two at Sheffield United and play the way he's done and then he'll be ready.

"But for now, David de Gea is still a world-class goalkeeper. It's a lonely position and those are the margins you play in as a goalkeeper – you simply cannot make mistakes because you will be punished.

"So the difference between goalkeepers and outfielders is the little, tiny, minute details which are the difference and when they go against you, they are really glaring and they will be spotted.

"Outfielders don't have to have the same mentality and they say we're crazy, which we are because we're the only ones who dare to take the responsibility because if outfielders took that kind of responsibility, we'd have some unbelievable players everywhere."

De Gea, who joined United from Atletico Madrid in 2011, surpassed Peter Schmeichel – Kasper's father – to become the overseas player with the most appearances for the Red Devils earlier this month.

United are third in the Premier League after 37 rounds, level on points with fourth-placed Chelsea and a point clear of Leicester.

Kasper Schmeichel accused referee Michael Oliver of wanting "to make himself a hero" in Leicester City's 4-0 loss to Liverpool.

The second-placed Foxes were comprehensively beaten by the Premier League leaders at the King Power Stadium on Boxing Day to fall 13 points behind Jurgen Klopp's Reds.

Liverpool went in front through Roberto Firmino's first-half header and scored three times in seven second-half minutes, with the first of those goals coming from a James Milner penalty.

Schmeichel was incensed by the decision to award the spot-kick, which came after Caglar Soyuncu leant into the ball and it struck his arm following a Trent Alexander-Arnold corner.

Asked whether the final score was a fair reflection, Schmeichel told Amazon Prime: "I think it was a bit tough. We were in the game until the referee had to make himself a hero.

"From then on we lost our composure. They're the best side in the world at the moment, along with Manchester City, and I think it's important for us not to lose sight of the big picture.

"We are very early into our journey. Man City, Liverpool, these are the type of teams we strive to be like but they're a lot further down the line in their development than we are.

"I think if someone had offered us the place that we're in at the start of the season we'd be very happy with that. It's important to have a little bit of perspective as well."

Milner's penalty was followed by further goals from Firmino and Alexander-Arnold, and Schmeichel was in disbelief over the awarding of the spot-kick.

He added: "What's his name… Dermot [Gallagher, former referee], he'll be on Sky saying it's a great decision, the referee was brave or something like that but I don't know what he's supposed to do.

"His arm's down by his side. It's flicked off someone at the front post, he's got less than a millisecond to react. I don’t know how…

"Once he gives it – he's desperate to give it, it looks like – once he gives it VAR's never going to turn it over."

Leicester, the 2015-16 Premier League champions, made a bright start to the season but a realistic title challenge appears unlikely following back-to-back losses against Manchester City and Liverpool.

It is the Reds, rather than the defending champions, who are in complete control of the title race after a 17th win in 18 Premier League games so far.

"They're a top side," Schmeichel added. "It's theirs to lose, isn't it?"

Mick McCarthy remains confident his Republic of Ireland squad can book a place at Euro 2020 despite missing out on automatic qualification.

Ireland were held to a 1-1 draw in Monday's must-win qualifier against Denmark at the Aviva Stadium to finish third in Group D, three points behind their opponents.

Matt Doherty headed home five minutes from time to cancel out Martin Braithwaite's 73rd-minute opener, but McCarthy's men must settle for a play-off spot.

A one-legged semi-final and final will be played in March and McCarthy believes his side are in with a shot, provided they replicate their performance against Denmark.

"We can beat anyone in the play-offs," he told Sky Sports. 

"The players will go back to their clubs and we don't have a game until March. I'll be getting round them and reminding them it has been a good campaign and that we can play like that, so why not play like that in March."

Ireland lost only one of their eight qualifiers - a 2-0 reverse to Switzerland last month - and McCarthy was full of praise for his players after the draw with the Danes in Dublin.

"I am immensely proud of them," he said. "They pushed Denmark right to the limit. If my players and my team leave everything on the pitch, I will take the result as it comes so I will have to take this.

"You just need that bit of luck. We had opportunities but I am not going to criticise the lads because they've been brilliant. We lost one game out of eight so I'm very proud of them."

Denmark are now unbeaten in 17 qualifying matches since October 2016 and can look forward to next year's tournament, having failed to qualify last time around.

Age Hareide's men managed just two attempts on target against Ireland, however, and goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel admitted his side were "terrible".

"It was dramatic enough," he told Sky Sports. "There wasn't a lot of quality from both sides - it was a cagey and tight affair.

"We were terrible. We didn't hit anything we tried to today and we had to rely on our grit and determination. We needed it today as we were under a lot of pressure."

Denmark have faced Ireland six times since 2017 and have not lost any of those meetings, but Schmeichel feels the hosts are improving.

"This is the best Ireland have been against us," Schmeichel added. "We had to ride our luck at times, but you need that when you're fighting for qualification."

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