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Manchester United manager, Erik Ten Hag, has reportedly decided to continue with David de Gea as his number-one goalkeeper. There has been speculation surrounding the future of the Spanish stopper throughout the season but it now appears that he has done enough to convince Ten Hag that he is the man to remain between the sticks at Old Trafford next season.
According to a report in the Athletic, United scouts have been following several goalkeepers this season but none of them have stood out as being worth the investment given the high fees that would be involved.
With United potentially needing to be careful in the summer with their spending due to financial fair play regulations, it seems the club have decided to focus their recruitment attention elsewhere.
The news that the club will no longer be pursuing a new number-one goalkeeper will be music to the ears of David de Gea. At the start of the season, there were reservations about the Spaniard’s ability to play out from the back and it has resulted in Ten Had adopting a deeper defensive line.
However, according to the report, Ten Hag believes he has seen enough improvement in de Gea’s distribution to be comfortable enough to progress his rebuild with the 32-year-old as his goalkeeper.
A new contract for de Gea
With Ten Hag seemingly set on keeping David de Gea as his number-one goalkeeper, getting a new contract sorted for the club’s record clean sheet holder will now be a priority behind the scenes at Old Trafford.
De Gea’s current deal is due to expire next summer and is on a bumper deal worth £375,000 per week. While United obviously now want him to stay, they still want him to agree to a salary reduction due to his age and the fact that the goalkeeper situation could quite easily change should the right player become available at the right time for the right price.
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Within the same Athletic report, it is revealed that de Gea has actually turned down the club’s initial offer. While he understands that a salary reduction is likely, he still wants to earn at least £300,000 per week. He feels as if his performances this season have been good and that he deserves to remain as one of the club’s top earners.
There is a belief among all parties that a suitable compromise will be reached and that de Gea will put pen to paper on a new contract at United that will see him remain at Old Trafford for the foreseeable future.
Possible de Gea alternatives
If the contract situation isn’t resolved swiftly then United will have no choice but to enter the transfer market for a new goalkeeper. Throughout the season they have been linked with several new goalkeepers but one name that has cropped up more than most is Diogo Costa.
The Portuguese goalkeeper is the ultimate modern goalkeeper and is more than comfortable with the ball at his feet. He is also not afraid of coming out of his box to sweep up balls over the top which would allow Ten Hag to employ a higher defensive line.
Another option for Ten Hag could be to recall Dean Henderson from his loan spell at Nottingham Forest, although that isn’t likely given his indifferent performances this season.