David De Gea is an important player for Manchester United; this is why he should be rewarded with a new contract

David De Gea was signed by Manchester United from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011 for a fee which was reported to be around £17 million. At the time, it was a substantial fee for a goalkeeper, although nowhere near the £32.6 million Juventus paid Parma for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001. At the start of his United career, De Gea did not have a great time but despite criticism from sections of supporters and the media, Sir Alex Ferguson stuck with De Gea, which the player is thankful for.

De Gea nearly left United at the end of the 2015 summer transfer window with Real Madrid close to completing a deal for him, which would have sent goalkeeper Keylor Navas to Manchester. Late paperwork scuppered that deal. De Gea was not playing for United at the time but days later he signed a new contract, which was recently extended with the additional one-year clause and got back to his best playing for the Old Trafford club.

If you look at the money United paid for De Gea in 2011, even the money Juventus paid for Buffon ten years earlier, you see the bargains both clubs had as during the last summer transfer window, both Liverpool and Chelsea needed a new goalkeeper with Liverpool signing Alisson from Roma for a reported £66.9 million and Chelsea signing Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao for £71.6 million.

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Recently, United have secured the future of Chris Smalling, who could remain at the club until the summer of 2023 and Anthony Martial, who could remain at the club until the summer of 2025. There are also rumours suggesting that Ashley Young, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford, and Ander Herrera could get new contracts at the Old Trafford club. Obviously, Martial was an important player to secure the future of, as is De Gea. The club needs to look at the importance of each player, signing the most important ones first.

De Gea was into his last year at the club until recently, when the additional year was activated in his contract, giving the club time to sort out a new deal for him. For around about a year now, the media have carried reports suggesting that De Gea’s new contract is close, not yet getting it right, which asks more questions of their sources rather than anything else. The thing is, if I was in the hierarchy of the club, De Gea would have been shown more importance than any other player, closely followed by Martial.

If Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain or any of the other big spenders in Europe were to make an offer for De Gea, right now, United would find themselves in a precarious position; it would give De Gea more power around the negotiation table. United really should be empowering themselves and getting an offer on the table to stop this from happening. I would imagine that if De Gea was offered a new contract in the region of £300,000 a week, he would accept it and he would also deserve a substantial contract.

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De Gea is well worth the money that the club could spend on his wages, which in turn, will secure the club for the future. At 28, De Gea still has many years left of his playing career. Edwin van der Saar retired from football at the age of 40 with players like Gianluigi Buffon still playing top-level football at the age of 41, De Gea could see another 12 years or action, the majority of which could be at United with him possibly ending his career in his native Spain.

United should be ensuring that they give De Gea what he wants to remain a United player for the long-term. Failing to get this contract signed will be the worst thing that Ed Woodward has done at the club and he has made many of mistakes, especially if you look at the last three managers that he appointed and sacked, which suggests that he has a pretty clueless role at the club as football just is not his thing. Recent reports have suggested that no breakthrough has been made in negotiations yet.

If De Gea was to leave United, either in the summer, which is the last chance United could get a fee for the player, or on a free on the expiry of his contract in the summer of 2020, United will need to spend a massive amount of money to get a capable goalkeeper on par with De Gea. Liverpool had to spend £66.9 million on Alisson with Chelsea spending £71.6 million on Kepa. United might even have to break the £100 million barrier to bring in top-level talent but know the Glazers, they would go for a cheap option.

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