Journalist Duncan Castles claims David de Gea wanted to sign a contract renewal a few seasons ago, astonishing fans if his statements are true.
The Spaniard is currently embroiled in a negotiation stalemate with Manchester United with just two years remaining on his current deal.
In fact his contract was initially set to end this summer until his one year extension clause was triggered.
De Gea is clearly United’s best player who, according to reports, wants to be on the same pay as highest earner Alexis Sanchez.
Castles believes executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward purposefully allowed the goalkeeper’s contract to run down despite his desire to renew.
According to the Daily Star, Duncan said: “In De Gea’s case, De Gea wanted to sign a new contract at Manchester United a couple of seasons ago.
“He was open to it, was actively asking United to extend his contract with his terms, and Ed Woodward did not want to engage with that.
“So he had the opportunity to keep De Gea at the club long term, for less money than it would cost him to keep him now.
“And as he has done, and this is by no means simply David De Gea’s contract we’re talking about, he’s done it with player after player after player, which is allow the contracts to run down, sometimes into that final year option, before negotiating long term.
“So this has been a strategy of United’s which I presume is about keeping the wage bill down, so the calculation was: ‘we’re paying De Gea this much money, if we give him an improved contract now, that’s gonna cost us X million more over the next two years that we don’t have to spend.
“‘We can wait ‘till the final year of the contract, give him a new one there and then save money.’ It just doesn’t work that way for players of De Gea’s status.”
It’s clear Woodward feels vindicated with his decisions to allow several of the club’s players’ contracts to run down to it’s final years as the likes of Phil Jones amongst others renewed.
The executive vice-chairman clearly feels as though the appeal of playing for United will be enough to force the players into renewing their contracts late and for lower fees.
Though that may work on occasion, it’s obviously not a long-term solution as the modern game has seen players more willing to leave for free elsewhere.
The most recent example is Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsey who despite all the years of service is set to leave to Juventus this summer.