STATUE OF DAVID
Manchester United might have given themselves a little more breathing space when it comes to David de Gea‘s contract, but they are still no closer to securing his long-term future. An automatic one-year extension on his deal has been triggered; can they persuade him to stay beyond 2020?
The Sunday Times say the two parties are locked in a ‘contract stand-off’. De Gea will block any attempts to sell him either in the January transfer window or next summer, meaning United must either agree to his demands or lose him for free when his current deal expires.
By leaving as a free agent, De Gea will likely guarantee himself a much greater signing-on bonus from potential suitors who will not be lumbered with a huge transfer fee.
The Sunday Times story, written by some fella called Duncan Castles, adds that De Gea would be happy to stay at Old Trafford if he is offered a wage comparable to that of Alexis Sanchez and Paul Pogba. Quite why United are dragging their feet on that is beyond mere mortals like you or I.
If United do not acquiesce to his demands, then De Gea will be free to agree a pre-contract with any European club in January 2020, and will be a free agent that summer. He won’t be leaving next month or at the end of this season.
PICK THAT OUT
A throwaway line in that story pertains to the Spaniard’s possible replacement. Jordan Pickford ‘has been floated’ as a possible new No. 1. Our early loser, Jose Mourinho, has been busy.
The Sunday Mirror go much further on what is admittedly not a new rumour. They say United are planning to offer £70m for a player Everton signed for £30m in summer 2017.
They describe this as ‘a world record for a goalkeeper’, as it ‘would eclipse the £66.8m Liverpool paid Roma for Brazil’s Alisson.’
It sure would. Kepa, who Chelsea spent £71.6m on just a couple of months ago, wants a word though. £70m would not be a world-record, guys.
It also might not necessarily be enough. Pickford signed a six-year contract in September, and would need replacing at a time when every club in the world knows Everton just received a cool £70m into their bank accounts. They are under no obligation to sell.
WHAT AN EDER
United have also been linked with centre-half Eder Militao, but they are not alone. The Mail on Sunday say Chelsea, Everton and Juventus are also lurking in the shadows.
Manchester City had also been linked with the 20-year-old previously, but it now seems to be a four-way tussle. And Chelsea could hold a trump card: Eder ‘is understood’ to share an agent with David Luiz and Willian.
Chelsea are therefore confident they can steal a march on United and the rest for a player who continues to impress in his native Brazil.
AND THE REST
Napoli have turned down Manchester United’s £91m offer for Senegal international defender Kalidou Koulibaly, 27… Arsenal playmaker Mesut Ozil, 30, could consider his options next summer with Inter Milan a possible destination… Real Madrid could make a surprise move for Arsenal’s Wales international midfielder Aaron Ramsey, 27, in January… Fulham boss Claudio Ranieri has asked Liverpool to let him have England defender Nathaniel Clyne, 27, on loan for the rest of the season… Chelsea are keen to sign to Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic, but want to lower the £70m price tag set by the Bundesliga leaders for the 20-year-old USA international… Watford, Cardiff and West Brom are among the teams interested in Nottingham Forest’s English winger Joe Lolley, 26.