Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag was asked about David de Gea’s future at the club and his response was damning.
The Spanish shot-stopper is out of contract in the summer but looks certain to sign an extension to stay at the club beyond 2023.
De Gea has an option to extend his contract for a further year but United chose not to trigger that clause and give de Gea a new contract altogether with a lower salary.
There have been some delays in the negotiations but Ten Hag was asked about the same on Sunday and the Dutchman confirmed that de Gea will stay at United.
But Ten Hag also added a pretty important detail to his statement, saying: “De Gea will stay, but I will not say he’ll always be my No. 1 goalkeeper next season.”
Ten Hag added that there must be competition at every position at a club like Manchester United and confirmed that the Red Devils will be in the market for a new goalkeeper in the summer.
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De Gea picked up the award for the most clean sheets in the Premier League this season with 17 but the 32-year-old could lose his spot in the team for a younger, more dynamic goalkeeper.
It is known that Ten Hag prefers a goalkeeper who can play with his feet and can command his penalty area. At Ajax, he famously replaced veteran Maarten Stekelenburg with Remko Pasveer purely for his ball-playing abilities.
United are interested in Brentford’s David Raya and also Diogo Costa at FC Porto. Brentford have reportedly also completed the signing of Dutch goalkeeper Mark Flekken as Raya is set to leave in the summer. Tottenham and Man United remain the possible suitors.
United have also expressed an interest in the young Dutch goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen. He could be used as an understudy to de Gea with the plan of replacing him in the future.
It was reported earlier that Ten Hag has warned de Gea to be better with his feet and has been training the Spaniard for the same. He has said that it is the requirement of high-level football nowadays to play with all 11 players.
United also have the option of Dean Henderson, who is currently out on loan at Nottingham Forest but the Englishman seems to be out of favour at United and is likely to sign a permanent deal at Forest rather than return to Old Trafford.