Sergio Romero

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Report: Man United offers to make De Gea highest paid goalkeeper

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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.

Solskjaer confirms De Gea will start for Man United against Huddersfield

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Ole Gunnar Solakjaer has confirmed that under-fire goalkeeper David De Gea will keep his place as Manchester United hosts Huddersfield Town at Old Trafford on Sunday.

The Spaniard has struggled over the past few weeks, with errors leading to goals that open fresh wounds from this past summer’s World Cup, where De Gea also performed poorly. Most recently, De Gea fumbled a deep effort from N'Golo Kante on Sunday against Chelsea that led to Marcos Alonso‘s 43rd minute equalizer in the eventual 1-1 draw with Chelsea. De Gea was seen shaking his head after the mistake, leading some to speculate the mistakes could be having an effect on his mentality, but the Manchester United boss hoped to shoot that down.

“Of course we do [trust De Gea], he’s been fantastic this season,” Solskjaer said in his pre-match press conference after confirming he will start. “Towards the end now he’s been in the headlines maybe for the wrong reasons, but as I’ve said so many times he’s got to deal with that. The goalkeeping department, they’re a fantastic group together with [goalkeeping coach] Emilio [Alvarez] and Sergio [Romero] and Lee [Grant] and David, they’ve been such a tight knitted group so they’ve experienced better times obviously but he’s ready for Sunday.”

Solskjaer did conveniently mention that Sergio Romero, de Gea’s backup, has a knee injury, leaving options quite limited should they decide the Spaniard needed some time on the sidelines. The only other goalkeeper in the squad is 36-year-old Lee Grant who joined from Stoke City in the summer. 20-year-old Paul Woolston is the starter for the U-23 squad, having signed in November as a free agent.

The boss was asked whether Romero would have started if he was fit, but dodged the question, sayin, “Ifs and buts and hypothetical questions. Sergio knows how highly I rate him.”

De Gea’s struggles have mounted for some time, with errors and poor moments in big games of late. He was beaten twice at his near post in the derby against Manchester City a week ago, with Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sane both scoring on shots De Gea would like to have back. He saw a Lionel Messi shot squirt right under his outstretched body as Barcelona trounced the Red Devils 3-0 in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal the week before that.

Despite the mistakes, De Gea has been a monstrous figure in goal for Manchester United for nearly the past decade. Since joining in 2011, he has made at least 28 Premier League appearances in every single season, and has hit the 34-game mark in each of the past six seasons. The 28-year-old has played every minute of the league campaign this season, but his seven clean sheets are by far the lowest of his Red Devils career, with at least 11 clean sheets in every season since moving to Old Trafford.

Arsenal 1-3 Man United: Lukaku shines as Sanchez haunts old club

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Alexis Sanchez opened the scoring against his former club, Romelu Lukaku reprised the right-wing role he found success at for his country at the World Cup this summer, and Manchester United eased by Arsenal in the FA Cup 4th round by a 3-1 scoreline.

Arsenal’s injury woes deepened as Sokratis came down from an aerial challenge awkwardly on his ankle inside the opening 20 minutes, and while he tried to stay on after lengthy treatment, he was eventually forced off, replaced by Shkodran Mustafi.

After the forced change, Manchester United seemed to hold much of the meaningful possession, and the visitors took advantage of an Arsenal mistake at the back. Lukaku received the ball at the top of the box, and no fewer than four Arsenal defenders stepped to challenge him on the ball. That left acres of space behind the stepping defenders, which Sanchez filled with a perfectly timed run, allowing Lukaku to feed him with a through-ball

Just moments later, Manchester United struck with the second barrel, as Jesse Lingard doubled the lead. On the break, Laurent Koscielny attempted to catch Lukaku offside down the right flank, but his trap was late and it sprung the Belgian down the wing. Triggering a three-on-two break, Lukaku cut across to Lingard standing all alone at the penalty spot, and the England international finished cooly for a 2-0 lead.

Arsenal found a way back just before halftime as Aaron Ramsey barged into the United box and tapped across the face of goal. The ball was out of reach of Alexandre Lacazette, but Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was on hand at the far post to poke it in past Sergio Romero. Just seconds after the break, Arsenal nearly equalized but Aaron Ramsey’s header was acrobatically tipped over the bar by a great Romero save.

Past the hour mark, as Arsenal pushed hard for an equalizer, the Gunners lost yet another defender as Koscielny went down and required lengthy treatment before coming off. Ole Gunner Solskjaer made tactical changes of his own for the stretch run, taking off Lukaku and Sanchez in favor of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.

Manchester United weathered the storm and put the game away in the 82nd minute on the break. Paul Pogba picked Arsenal’s pocket in the middle third and broke at pace the other direction. Despite a pair of options open on either flank, Pogba shot on Petr Cech‘s net, with the Czech parrying the effort. He pushed it right into the path of Martial, and the substitute bagged the decisive goal.

The match nearly boiled over in the final minutes as Sead Kolasinac and Marcus Rashford went head-to-head, but neither did enough to earn a sending-off, with both given yellows. After a lengthy stoppage time, the win for Manchester United gave Solskjaer his eighth win in succession across all competitions to start his Red Devils tenure. For Arsenal, after winning the FA Cup two years ago, they’ve not been eliminated early in each of the last two seasons, falling last year in the 3rd round to Nottingham Forest, with this year’s defeat coming in the 4th round.

Live, FA Cup: Arsenal v. Man United in heavyweight clash

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The fourth round of the FA Cup kicks off with a massive game, as Arsenal host Manchester United Friday (kick off, 2:55 p.m. ET) at the Emirates Stadium Friday.

Both teams are in good form and chasing down Chelsea in the top four battle in the Premier League, and these two giants of English soccer have won the FA Cup more times than any other teams. Arsenal have won the trophy 13 times, while United have 12 FA Cups to their name.

[ LIVE: Follow all the FA Cup scores ]

Unai Emery and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer both know that a top four finish in the Premier League is the priority, but losing a game of this magnitude would curtail their recent upturn in results and performances. A victory for either would also set them up very nicely for the last 16 as plenty of Premier League clubs have already departed the competition and at least four more are guaranteed to depart the FA Cup in the fourth round.

Sergio Romero starts ahead of David De Gea for United, while Peter Cech comes in for Bernd Leno as both teams switch up their goalkeepers. Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku start up top for United, with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial given a rest on the bench.

While the majority of the focus will be on north London, there is another FA Cup clash Friday as Bristol City host Bolton Wanderers (kick off, 2:45 p.m. ET) in an all second-tier encounter.

Click on the link above to follow the scores from both FA Cup games, while we will have reaction and analysis right here on Pro Soccer Talk.

Man United sleepwalk in Valencia loss

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  • Soler beats Romero for opener
  • Jones scores ghastly own goal
  • Rashford pulls one back

Manchester United wasted a chance to win its Champions League group by falling 2-1 to Valencia at the Mestalla Stadium on Wednesday.

Marcus Rashford‘s 87th minute goal was all United could muster in the loss.

Young Boys stunned Juventus in Switzerland to open the door for Jose Mourinho’s men, but a Carlos Soler low drive and a Phil Jones own goal were United’s undoing.

[ MORE: Champions League standings ]

Antonio Valencia was extremely fortunate not to be sent off for a horrible studs-up tackle on Toni Lato that left the defender requiring medical attention for a gash.

Valencia, the club, scored through Soler’s low drive through traffic, which beat Sergio Romero.

The Spanish side missed two chances to make it 2-0, with Michy Batshuayi mis-hitting a terrific Cristiano Piccini cross and Geoffrey Kondogbia stymied by Marouane Fellaini‘s marking.

Pogba missed a straight-forward chance to level the score when Fellaini pounded a header into his path, but the French star hit the ball wide of the gaping frame from inside the six.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Michy Batshuayi ran alongside Phil Jones, and the English defender slid to push a perfect shot… past his own goalkeeper, David De Gea.