Manchester United and Erik ten Hag have massive decisions to make before the season ends with regard to some of their stars whose contractual terms expire in a few months.
A particularly high-profile example is that of David de Gea, who finds himself in a tricky situation with so much uncertainty looming over his long-term future at Old Trafford.
The Spaniard is likely to become a free agent at the end of the season unless he is offered a new deal. United also have an option of triggering a one-year extension clause on his current arrangement.
However, Ten Hag faces a dilemma. Should he persist with the fan-favourite and undoubtedly a club legend in the eyes of many, or get rid of De Gea who does not necessarily align with the way he wants to play football?
The shot-stopper himself has publicly come out, indicating that he is willing to put pen to paper on fresh terms that would keep him at United for the considerable future.
The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell and Pol Ballus report that a realistic solution to the De Gea fiasco is to tie him down to negotiations in which significantly reduced terms is the main item on the agenda.
As per Whitwell and Ballus, “De Gea said in the summer he wished to sign his future to United, and he would be open to reducing his wage to do so.”
“The 31-year-old accepts he is very well remunerated, even after the 25 per cent cut for United failing to qualify for the Champions League, and is settled in Manchester.”
The one condition the 31-year-old has before accepting lower wages as indicated by The Athletic is to remain as the Red Devils’ starting goalkeeper.
The club, alert to the situation, is already on the hunt for a top alternative or replacement for De Gea who has been at United since 2011.
Tony Coton, United’s chief goalkeeping scout, is spearheading the search for a new goalkeeper and is said to have Porto’s goalkeeper Diogo Costa and Athletic Bilbao’s Unai Simon at the top of his wishlist.
However, Ten Hag is not beyond keeping De Gea beyond this season as a low-cost option in case sufficient funds are not made available.
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