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Erik ten Hag has refused to guarantee that David de Gea will be Manchester United’s starting goalkeeper for the upcoming season, as discussions regarding the Spanish ‘keeper’s future continue.
De Gea, 32, has been in contract talks with Manchester United for several months, but he has been severely scrutinized by fans and pundits following a series of high-profile errors this season.
This scrutiny will only intensify after the veteran goalkeeper was at fault for the goal that United conceded versus West Ham which caused them to fall to a 1-0 defeat on Sunday night.
While the club are still favorites to secure Champions League football, with Liverpool pushing from behind the loss at the weekend has taken United’s cushion of points away from them.
De Gea May Not Make Number 1 For Much Longer
De Gea is believed to be close to agreeing terms on a new contract that will keep him at Old Trafford beyond the end of the current campaign; however, it remains to be seen whether he will remain Manchester United’s starting goalkeeper next season.
According to The Telegraph, De Gea has received no assurances from Ten Hag that he will remain the first-choice goalkeeper in the future, as the Manchester United manager is determined to keep his options open as he looks to improve his starting lineup.
United are rumored to admire Brentford goalkeeper David Raya, and according to recent reports, the club has also monitored Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa.
As early as January, it was reported that Ten Hag was interested in procuring a new goalkeeper due to concerns about De Gea’s ability to play out from the back. Despite this, Ten Hag defended his current No. 1 position on Sunday despite his most recent gaffe.
“Yes, but mistakes are part of football,” Ten Hag told BT Sport after the West Ham defeat, “As a team, you have to deal with it and bounce back.”
“It’s a team sport. Like you said, over the season, he’s the person with the most clean sheets. Everyone has to take responsibility.”
Ten Hag: ‘We Want Him To Stay’
The coach doubled down on his comments in his post-match press conference after the match, telling reporters that: “We want him to stay and we want him to extend his contract.”
Earlier in the season, it was reported that De Gea has already indicated he will accept a pay cut in order to extend his contract with the club. His new contract will include a significantly reduced base salary and several performance-based bonuses.
Sir Alex Ferguson signed De Gea from Atletico Madrid in 2011, and he has since spent more than a decade at Old Trafford.
In addition to searching for a new No. 1 in the summer, United are anticipated to offload academy graduate Dean Henderson. The 26-year-old has spent the entire season on loan at Nottingham Forest and is prepared to leave the club in order to play first-term soccer elsewhere.
Ten Hag may be hoping that his starting ‘keeper makes no more errors in the crucial run of four league games to come before the summer as they seek to secure European top-flight football.
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