Wednesday 21 March 2018

Mourinho expects De Gea to be offered new deal


United keeper David de Gea
United keeper David de Gea

Jose Mourinho expects goalkeeper David De Gea to be offered a new long-term contract by Manchester United.

The most-recent deal De Gea signed in 2015, just days after a proposed £29million move to Real Madrid fell through, runs out next year, although United hold an option to extend that by a further 12 months.

Mourinho regards activating that clause as a foregone conclusion, but also anticipates United offering the 27-year-old fresh terms to ward off any renewed interest from Madrid and ensure he remains at Old Trafford into his 30s.

De Gea joined United in 2011 and has been arguably the club’s most impressive player in the post-Alex Ferguson era.

“The option, it’s obvious that we’re not going to let the option disappear,” Mourinho said.

“A goalkeeper like he is and obviously a club that wants to be better and better and better, we are not going to let that year option go away.

“But obviously we are going to try (for a new deal).

“Mr (Ed) Woodward is not on holiday. He barely has holidays. Of course he’s going to try to give him a contract that keeps him here for much longer than that option that of course we are going to execute.

“I just trust the board and the work they do. I don’t negotiate players, I don’t discuss numbers and contracts.

“I just say what is obvious. Anyone of you would say the same – David is to keep.”

Meanwhile, Henrikh Mkhitaryan has been offered no assurances over his long-term United future by Mourinho.

The Armenian was one of Mourinho’s first signings in the summer of 2016 but inconsistency has blighted the playmaker since he joined from Borussia Dortmund for £26.3million.

The 29-year-old began this campaign with five assists in the first three top-flight fixtures but his form tailed off again and having been substituted at half-time against Derby in their most recent game - a move Mourinho later apologised for - his name has been littered in gossip columns regarding a potential exit this month.

“My approach to players is that every player has a price,” Mourinho said when asked directly about whether Mkhitaryan would stay. “It doesn’t matter who he is. It doesn’t matter the level. It doesn’t matter the prestige, the status. I think every player has a price.”

Meanwhile, Antonio Valencia could return for United’s home clash with Stoke tonight.

The converted right-back has been out for almost a month with a hamstring injury but trained with Mourinho’s team in Dubai this week along with Michael Carrick, who has not played since September having undergone a procedure to treat an irregular heart rhythm.

Ashley Young still has one match left to serve on his suspension while Eric Bailly (ankle) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (knee) are missing once again.

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