How are renewal talks progressing?
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has given the green light to trigger a one-year contract extension clause on four first team players.
Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Fred and Diogo Dalot, all initially out of contract in 2023 and able to speak to foreign clubs about a free transfer from January 1, have now seen their deals extended until 2024 – giving United more time to renegotiate long-term contracts or seek transfer fees for any players they’d like to offload next year.
One player in the same boat whose future remains unresolved however, is first-choice goalkeeper David de Gea.
De Gea’s contract expires on June 30, 2023.
United have an option to extend the Spaniard’s stay by a further year like the aforementioned players, but the issue United face is De Gea is currently among the club’s top earners – he agreed a deal in the region of £375,000-a-week when it was signed in 2019. Any extension trigger would be on the same terms as the existing deal.
De Gea’s current take home earnings are impacted with a clause triggered following United’s failure to qualify for the Champions League last season, but remain among the highest in the squad.
The issue United face is De Gea’s current standing on the payroll doesn’t match his status in the world game following an extended dip in form, and concerns over his capability to play in a Ten Hag team. De Gea’s strong point has never been with ball at his feet, and he has lost his place in the Spanish national team in strong part due to that factor. Luis Enrique has left his job as Spain manager following the World Cup, however, potentially opening a route back into the international set up.
De Gea was, at the point of signing his last contract with United, one of the best goalkeepers in the world, with a wage reflective of that status. It’s clear this is no longer the case, and clear to United too, who are looking to be more careful and strict with contract renewals after years of mismanagement.
90min understands United and De Gea are on good terms, and both parties are determined to stay that way no matter the result of discussions over a renewal.
Talks over a potential extension are ongoing, but United’s approach will be for any new long-term agreement to be made on significantly reduced terms. United are not considering triggering the one-year extension option.
The size of the reduction, and whether De Gea accepts it, remains to be seen.
90min reported in November that Ten Hag had become a big fan of De Gea’s work ethic and presence at Carrington, even while concerns remain over whether he is or can become Ten Hag’s archetypal number one.
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United have been scouting other potential options for a number of months should they end up losing De Gea.
Martin Dubravka will return to Newcastle when his loan deal expires in the summer, and was only considered understudy to De Gea anyway. Dean Henderson, long tipped as De Gea’s successor and once trialled as such, is still intent on leaving United and the club could use his sale as a method of raising funds if his successful season at Nottingham Forest continues.
Portugal number one Diogo Costa, of Porto, has been scouted a number of times by United this season so far and looks to be one of the next crop of modern goalkeepers ready to be snapped up by a European giant, even if there is a substantial release clause in a new deal signed only recently. Ten Hag and United like the player though have other areas they would like to strengthen next summer.
Yann Sommer has been on United’s radar but is considered a number two option.
De Gea would need to agree to a new deal on reduced terms if he is to stay at United, but the decision remains up to him and the club on how any new deal would look.
United and the player are keen to work things out with a degree of mutual respect, with the option also on the table for De Gea to leave for a better deal if an offer comes along.
Former club Atletico Madrid are a potential option, with current number one Jan Oblak’s future up in the air as it stands. The Slovenian has been on United’s radar in the past too, with a potential swap deal mooted once upon a time.
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Arsenal pre-season 2023/24: Fixtures and schedule
Having reached new heights in the Premier League in 2022/23, Arsenal will soon be beginning their preparations for the new campaign with a pre-season tour to get ready for 2023/24.
Preparations for last season took place in Germany for Arsenal but with the Covid-19 pandemic a bit more of a distant memory for many, it is expected that more teams will be heading further afield again to either the United States of America or Asia.
Arsenal are yet to announce a full training camp location for their pre-season but they do have one fixture already confirmed which drops a big clue.
The Gunners are going to be coming up against an MLS All-Star team in Washington D.C. which will be coached by Manchester United and England legend Wayne Rooney. That takes place on July 19 and it is hard to imagine that Arsenal will only play one game in America.
A semi-regular fixture of Arsenal’s pre-seasons in recent years has been the Emirates Cup, but there has not been any word on whether an edition of that will be taking place or not this summer. If there is, then Arsenal could be splitting their time between America and London.
All times BST.
As is the case for almost every big club in football now, all of Arsenal’s pre-season friendlies are expected to be televised live on Arsenal.com and their official app with a subscription.
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