Manchester United aren't ready for David de Gea to leave
Background photo: Steve Collis, CC BY 2.0
Progressing is a word heard but not seen when it comes to contract negotiations between David de Gea and Manchester United. Now, the club must deal with an additional suitor beyond Real Madrid. Paris Saint-Germain reportedly threw their hat into the ring. De Gea's deal expires at season's end but United have the option to extend it until 2020. Spoiler alert: United will take that option. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does have a new contract and intends to restore the club to its former greatness. Letting De Gea go makes that a much more difficult proposition.
Alleged demands for £350,000 weekly wages are high for goalkeepers but not for the best player at a massive club. The 28-year-old remains United's best player. He has been for the last five years. Alexis Sanchez remains the Red Devils' highest paid player despite failing to justify the windfall. In that light, De Gea's expectations aren't unreasonable.
United's position is easily understood as well. If they continue to dole out high wages, the club won't have any money left after the Glazer family takes their substantial cuts.
At some point, however, an agreement must be reached. A broken fax machine won't cut it as an excuse a second time. Urban legend says that's what kept De Gea at the club when Iker Casillas left Real Madrid for Porto in 2015. The deal was done but UEFA mysteriously failed to receive the particulars in time.
There are no regrets at Old Trafford. Their goalkeeper kept them in the European places all this time while managers and squads failed to gain traction. The Spaniard desires one of two things, if not both. He expects to be paid according to his contribution but would even happier to see the club get its act together and win a few trophies. Failing those contingencies, a third option exists. He can become the reason PSG finally conquer Europe.
United risk missing out on the Champions League this season and face a squad overhaul in the summer. Replacing their number one isn't a consequence they wish to consider. Shot stoppers of his quality do not grow on trees. If one becomes available, he will cost in terms of both transfer fee and wages. Better to deal with the devil you know.
A sporting director might better identify a replacement for value but the club drags their heels in that department too. Ed Woodward's policy with Sanchez, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial was to meet their wage demands. A qualified football man would have known Sanchez wasn't worth the money. It wouldn't be so difficult now to pay a player who's worth the investment. The pressure is on United to win. Throwing money at the problem only works when you have good aim.
Whoever United sign in the summer, their wage bill will be astronomical. David de Gea is a proven commodity. There is no need to speculate with regard to the Spanish goalkeeper. Solskjaer's first transfer window will be off to a good start if the club signs the man between the sticks