Manchester United are prioritising a new contract for goalkeeper David de Gea in the coming months.
The Spaniard’s current deal expires at the end of this season and although the Reds have the opportunity to trigger a 12-month extension, there is an urgent desire to tie De Gea down to a long-term deal.
London’s Evening Standard reports that while the Man United executives are not panicked about the De Gea situation, they are keen to conclude negotiations with him as soon as possible.
De Gea signed his current deal in September 2015 after coming inches away from a move to Real Madrid, the club of his home city and Europe’s best side. However, paperwork failure meant that move on deadline day of 2015 fell through and De Gea committed his future to United as soon as it did.
He is happy with life in Manchester and his long-term girlfriend, Spanish music artist Edurne, has moved to the city this year. A report from the Manchester Evening News recently insisted that United had “never been more confident” of securing De Gea’s future because of that reason, but also the fact that Real Madrid signed Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois in the summer.
However, the Evening Standard claims that De Gea is concerned about his ability to win major domestic and European trophies while at United. They are fair concerns. United haven’t won one of the two major trophies, the Premier League or UEFA Champions League, since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
United must show ambition to keep De Gea. Wayne Rooney had the same concerns in 2010 when he was linked with a move to rivals Manchester City. United must not allow themselves to fall into a pattern of aiming for top four every season and not more. It will lead to a vicious cycle whereby they can’t sign or keep the best players and so cannot then compete for the biggest titles.