According to a report by the BBC, Manchester United has stepped up efforts to sign David De Gea to a long-term contract, with its latest offer reportedly high enough to make him the highest-paid goalkeeper in the world in a bid to avoid losing him for nothing next summer. The two sides have attempted to strike a new deal unsuccessfully for quite some time now, with unsuccessful negotiations dating back almost two years.
De Gea’s contract expires next summer, and Manchester United has reportedly been working on an extension for the last calendar year, but little progress has been made. The Spaniard wishes to be the highest-paid player at the club, but the Red Devils are hamstrung by the enormous contract it gave Alexis Sanchez, meaning it would need to offer De Gea north of the $490,000-per-week deal that Sanchez is saddled with.
While the BBC report does not give details of the offer, A report by The Times does specify the amount, claiming it is worth $440,000 per week, meaning while it doesn’t reach Sanchez’s contract, it comes much closer than the label of “highest-paid goalkeeper” would suggest.
For perspective on goalkeeper earnings around the world, a Marca report on De Gea negotiations from a year ago tabs Bayern Munich’s Manuel Neuer as the highest-paid goalkeeper in the world at the time with a salary of $325,000 per week. While that figure still doesn’t come close to the Sanchez number that De Gea’s camp has stuck to, it would still earn him a significant bump in pay from his current $251,000-per-week deal.
Should this improved contract offer yet again fall short of De Gea’s expectations, it’s possible that Manchester United would begin to shop him, looking to cash in instead of allowing him to leave on a free transfer next summer. The club does have a 32-year-old international starter in Sergio Romero on the books who could take over should De Gea depart. However, the BBC report states that the club’s current strategy is to continue negotiating into the new season, hoping he eventually signs on even at the risk of losing him on a free.
De Gea took a step back from his usual all-world form last season, starting with a poor 2018 World Cup which carried into the Manchester United campaign, but the body of work still leaves him as one of the world’s best goalkeepers and he is just entering the prime of his career for his position at 28 years old. He has racked up 362 appearances for Manchester United, good for 40th on the all-time club list and a season away from the 400-mark which would see him into the top 25.
He joined Manchester United in 2011 from Atletico Madrid at just 20 years old, and has been the regular starter since signing on, inking a five-year contract extension in 2015.