herald

Saturday 24 August 2019

Better deal to keep De Gea

United improve offer to David and move to sign Longstaff

David de Gea. Photo: PA
David de Gea. Photo: PA

Manchester United have made an improved offer to David De Gea in an attempt to finally agree upon a contract extension.

Marcus Rashford this week committed his long-term future to the Old Trafford giants and the club are attempting to persuade the Spain goalkeeper to do similar.

Negotiations with De Gea bumbled along all last season, with demands around the deal holding things up, despite the goalkeeper's apparent desire to remain at a club he joined from Atletico Madrid in 2011.

The situation is becoming more pressing as the 28-year-old is out of contract next summer and it's understood United have made another offer as discussions over a new deal continue.

De Gea has been strongly linked with a move to Paris St Germain and Juventus, while links to Real Madrid are never far from the surface after going so close to moving to the Bernabeu in 2015.

Outstanding

The 28-year-old has been named the club's player of the year on a record four occasions during an outstanding spell at Old Trafford, but he made a serious of high-profile blunders towards the end of the campaign.

Asked about De Gea's form towards the end of the 2018-19 season, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: "Of course we trust him, he's been fantastic this season.

"Towards the end now he's been in the headlines maybe for the wrong reasons, but, as I've said so many times, he has to deal with that.

"The goalkeeping department are a fantastic group together, with Emilio (Alvarez, goalkeeping coach), Sergio (Romero), Lee (Grant) and David.

"They've been such a tight-knit group, so they've experienced better times obviously than just now."

United also want Newcastle midfielder Sean Longstaff to feature on their pre-season tour and are expected to accelerate their plans to sign him this week.

Solskjaer believes Longstaff, 21, fits the mould as part of the club's new recruitment drive to sign young British players and sources close to Longstaff have stated they expect movement from United this week.

It's believed United had planned to sign Longstaff last month but negotiations with Crystal Palace over Aaron Wan-Bissaka dragged on longer than anticipated and the club prioritised concluding the £50million move.

Delayed

It is possible Longstaff's situation could be further delayed by United's £70m bid for Leicester defender Harry Maguire, which has already been rejected.

United decided last week to target a centre half and have operated by working on one deal at a time this window.

The departure of Rafael Benitez from Newcastle will have no bearing on Longstaff's future. Newcastle are managerless but about to sell Ayoze Perez to Leicester for £30m and have not placed a specific valuation on Longstaff, who is contracted to the club until 2022.

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