Manchester United mulling De Gea exit
According to The Telegraph, the club is considering not renewing the Spaniard’s contract, which expires in 2023, due to his high salary.
Barely nine months separate David De Gea, one of the most important players of the last decade at Manchester United, from becoming a free agent. The Spanish goalkeeper, whose most recent contract extension was in 2019, will be out of contract in June 2023. At Old Trafford, club officials are still unclear if this will be the former Atlético goalkeeper’s last season. British newspaper The DailyTelegraph points out that “Manchester United are weighing up whether to trigger David de Gea’s contract option after their wage bill reached a Premier League record £384 million for last season” and that “allowing a key first-team player to leave on a free transfer, with his replacement likely to earn significantly less given the current market values” is an option on the board table.
In 2019, De Gea’s salary rose to over £350,000 a week. That amount, added to the salaries of footballers such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho, led to United’s annual salary bill rising by £61.6 million - an 19.1% increase on last season. While the team’s failure to qualify for the Champions League caused the Spanish goalkeeper’s salary to drop from £375,000 pounds per week, De Gea’s salary is still the second highest in the entire squad – behind only Cristiano. His departure from the club after 12 years, even as a free agent, would lighten the accounts, which has presented “net losses of £115.5 million,” media reports said.
One of the possible replacements that United are considering is Everton and England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford, who also hapeens to be on the agenda of several other big Premier League clubs. On top of his extensive experience (2022/2023 is his sixth season in the Premier League with Everton - plus another two campaigns with Sunderland), his salary makes him much more affordable for United. According to Spotrac, Pickford, the second highest paid player in the squad, is paid around £100,000 a week.
De Gea started the current campaign with a number of blunders but has since recovered his best form. Nevertheless, in the coming months he will have to prove to United that he deserves a contract extension. United drafted in Martin Dubravka on loan from Newcastle, as the team’s second goalkeeper while promising youth team graduate Dean Henderson is spending this season on loan at Nottingham Forest. De Gea’s possible departure at the end of the season could also allow the England international to fill a position which up until now, he has been deprived of by the Spaniard’s solid performances.