Erik ten Hag is reportedly ‘unconvinced’ by David de Gea with the Manchester United number one’s future being ‘in doubt’.
The Spain international has just 14 days remaining on his Manchester United contract, and despite the club having the option to extend his £375,000-a-week deal by a year, they effectively confirmed on Friday that they were not triggering that extension as they left him off of their retained list ahead of the 2023/24 season.
United have, however, been in talks with the 32-year-old about a new deal on reduced terms, and there had been an optimism that he would put pen to paper and extend his 12-year stay at Old Trafford, with the framework of a deal having been agreed months ago.
However, according to the Mail, Erik ten Hag is ‘unconvinced’ about keeping De Gea as his first-choice goalkeeper, and would prefer to bring in a new number 1, though United’s budgetary restraints could scupper his plans.
Last month, the Dutchman refused to guarantee De Gea a regular starting position if he were to stay at the club.
“Yes [I want him to stay], but I will not say he’ll always be my No.1 because in a club like Man United there must be competition in all positions. You can’t do it with 11 players.
“It is impossible. You need double positions.”
Despite claiming the Premier League golden glove this season, De Gea has come in for plenty of criticism this season, particularly regarding his ability to play as a modern, ball-playing ‘keeper, while his performance in the FA Cup final – currently set to be his last outing in a United shirt – raised plenty of eyebrows.
United have been linked with a host of ‘keepers in recent months, including Porto’s Diogo Costa, Brentford’s David Raya and more recently, Inter Milan’s Andre Onana, a player who worked under Erik ten Hag at Ajax.
However, all of the candidates to replace De Gea as first-choice would likely cost at least £40 million, potentially putting them ‘out of reach’ of United who are working on a restricted budget.
The Red Devils have been prioritising a move for a striker this summer, while the club have also seen a £40 million bid for Mason Mount rejected as they also look to strengthen in midfield.
The need for a new goalkeeper could now be out of their hands, however, with De Gea having attracted the attentions of a number of clubs in Saudi Arabia.
Dean Henderson is currently set to return to United this summer following his season-long loan at Nottingham Forest, while United revealed they have extended Tom Heaton’s contract. Jack Butland – who had been on loan from Crystal Palace – will join Rangers.