David de Gea is in danger of being priced out of Manchester United despite the club’s willingness to offer him a new £350,000-a-week deal.
United are prepared to make the 28-year-old the highest paid goalkeeper in the world – but are still to reach a breakthrough after more than a year of negotiations.
The new five-year contract would make De Gea one of Old Trafford’s biggest earners along with Alexis Sanchez, whose deal is believed to be worth in the region of £400,000-a-week.
But that has not been enough to reach agreement with the Spain international’s representatives, raising fresh doubts over his long-term future.
Ed Woodward is determined to end the uncertainty over De Gea before the summer, having already secured new deals for Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial.
United recently triggered a 12-month option on the keeper’s contract to buy them more time to come to an agreement. But negotiations continue to be protracted, with De Gea’s agent Jorge Mendes recognising the strength of his bargaining position – particularly with European giants Juventus and PSG monitoring his situation.
United are adamant they want to tie De Gea down for the best years of his career and have been quick to prove that by indicating they would be prepared to meet the £350,000-a-week deal widely considered to be the terms he was seeking.
But it looks increasingly likely they will have to exceed that offer to get a deal done.
Aaron Ramsey’s recently signed pre-contract with Juve is believed to be worth in the region of £400,000-a-week – and is evidence of what De Gea could earn if he becomes a free agent.
United are at least encouraged by De Gea’s insistence, privately, that he has no desire to leave after establishing himself as an Old Trafford icon in the eight years since he signed from Atletico Madrid.
But the amount of time it is taking to find a compromise only adds to the uncertainty over a man who is widely recognised as the world’s No. 1 keeper.
United went as far as drawing up a list of replacements when they feared losing De Gea to Real Madrid two years ago.
Atletico’s Jan Oblak and Kasper Schmeichel of Leicester were among the names under consideration.
But they believed Thibaut Courtois’ move to the Bernabeu last summer had finally ended concerns about De Gea walking away.
The player’s own ambition was cited as a factor behind him refusing to extend earlier in the season – but the club’s dramatic resurgence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has raised optimism around Old Trafford that the club is moving in the right direction again.
– Evening Standard