Keeping De Gea will be United’s Best Bit of Business this Summer
It’s that time of year when transfer rumours and speculation begin to mount up with Manchester United already being heavily linked with Borussia Dortmund pair Mats Hummels and İlkay Gündoğan as well as PSV forward Memphis Depay.
However, out of all the potential signings executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward can lure to Old Trafford this summer, the most important player to be pictured sitting next to Louis van Gaal signing a contract is David de Gea.
United’s number-one has been the stand-out player for the Red Devils this season and will most likely swoop the majority of the accolades at the club’s end of season awards dinner next month.
However, rumours about the Spanish keeper being linked with a summer move to Real Madrid persist and is a worrying prospect with de Gea yet to agree to a new deal to extend his current contract at United beyond next season.
More concerning for United fans perhaps, the attraction of signing for the La Liga giants goes beyond the football club. The move would present de Gea with the opportunity to return to the city he left for United in 2011, when he joined from Atletico Madrid for £17.8m.
Playing in La Liga would also give de Gea the opportunity to consolidate his position as Spain’s number-one.
Should Iker Casillas leave the Bernabéu this summer, it would be difficult to see past de Gea replacing him and United would be unable to reject the move with the risk of losing the Spanish keeper on a free next summer.
Speaking at his press-conference before United’s 3-0 defeat to Everton at the weekend, Louis van Gaal told reporters the club had offered de Gea a new contract but admitted it was out of his hands whether he would sign.
“I am not the boss. I want him to stay. The player is the boss – he can say yes or no. You will have to ask David de Gea, not me. He has to sign. We have offered him a lot of money.”
Given his performances this season, it is not surprising United have offered de Gea a lucrative new deal believed to be in the region of £150,000 a week.
It seems likely now that United will finish in the top-four and that is largely down to the contribution of their goalkeeper.
The 2-1 victory over Everton at home and United’s win at the Emirates in November are prime examples of games in which de Gea produced a series of world-class saves to secure the three points for his side.
In the 3-0 home win over Liverpool in December, de Gea was awarded man-of-the-match after another outstanding display to help United defeat their rivals. How often do you see United win 3-0 at Old Trafford and the keeper being their best player?
De Gea’s outstanding season saw him nominated for both player of the year and young player of the year at the PFA awards last month, and was named in the PFA’s team of the year.
The keeper has certainly developed into one of the best shot-stoppers in the world since joining United in 2011 and it is hard to believe now that he endured a difficult start to life at Old Trafford with a series of goalkeeping mistakes.
Should de Gea leave, United have three times Champions League winner Victor Valdes waiting in the wings or could opt to sign Petr Cech, who is expected to leave Chelsea this summer for the promise of first team football.
Keeping de Gea is the number one priority however, and should he sign a new contract in the next couple of months it would be the best bit of business United do this summer.