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David de Gea & his Man Utd demands: Why it's crazy making him wait

COMMENT: Don't point the finger at PSG. Nor Juventus. Not even Alexis Sanchez. If Manchester Uniteddo lose David de Gea, they'll only have themselves to blame...

The latest is they're at a stalemate. With no agreement in sight, United's board triggered the 12-month option in De Gea's deal. Effectively handcuffing him to themselves for one more season.

But the thing is, De Gea wants to stay. Almost eight years a United player, the Spanish goalkeeper is happy where he is. He's happy on the pitch. And - significantly - also at home. All those rumours of he and long-time girlfriend Edurne being at odds over life in Manchester have now been put to bed. Edurne has been living in the country for the past six months. The pop singer traveling to and from Spain a couple of days a week for the local TV version of 'Got Talent'. The couple have now bought into life in the Northwest, with family dog Matxo also settled.

But De Gea's also no mug. And after all these years of excellent service, he wants to be duly rewarded.

In England, the claim is it's £350,000-a-week he's demanding to re-sign. Though Tribalfootball.com has been told it's closer to being just under £300,000-a-week. Those stories about Alexis Sanchez and his bank-busting deal being at the heart of De Gea's obstinance can be dismissed. This has nothing to do with the Chilean. If it did, De Gea would be demanding club record terms - and would be well within his rights do so.

Instead, De Gea - at 28 - is arguing he deserves this pay-hike for all he's done since signing that famous four-year deal back in September 2015. De Gea, even before the story of Real Madrid and the busted fax, was always among United's top performers. And since penning his current deal, he's firmly established himself as the club's one, genuine world class talent.

There's a reason why Juve want to sign him. And the same applies for PSG. De Gea is one of the few among today's generation capable of transforming a great Juve or PSG team into a Champions League winner. That's why both clubs have assured Jorge Mendes, De Gea's agent, they'd have no problem meeting his demands. With the influence of goalkeepers now being recognised (just ask Jurgen Klopp about Liverpool's quantum leap since Alisson's arrival), they know it's simply market rate.

Which should be the same thinking inside United's board room. The claim that rewarding De Gea would lead to a raft of teammates banging on Ed Woodward's door to demand the same just doesn't wash. No player at United has performed as De Gea has these past four years. No player has even come close. And by rights, none of them. Not even Paul Pogba. None deserve to be paid more than the club's No1. Pogba isn't De Gea. He isn't even close. And if he or his agent, Mino Raiola, demand improved terms because De Gea has been rewarded, Woodward - as effectively the club's chief exec - should have the bottle to point this out.

This deal shouldn't be about anyone else. It should be about keeping hold of a foundation stone of this current team. A player who could walk into any side in the Europe and improve it.

And this can't be about money. After all, isn't this why Woodward continues with his 'sponsor a week' strategy? United's global partner of this. Their team sponsor of that. All the while devaluing the actual status of being associated with the club. But no matter. The cash still rolls in. And it's prime use should be about keeping hold of it's prime assets.

At current levels, Woodward and United's board should be snapping off Mendes' hand. £290-350,000-a-week to keep De Gea in his peak years sounds just about spot on. To allow the situation to reach the point where it was required to trigger the year's option again suggests a failure inside the club to understand the trends of the wider football market.

De Gea is happy at home. He's happy on the pitch. And his demands are not unrealistic. If United mess this one up, they'll only have themselves to blame.


Chris Beattie
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Chris Beattie

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