Reports claim that Manchester United will consider releasing David de Gea from his contract this summer, as the club’s hierarchy look to slash their stratospheric wage bill.
The 24-year-old has impressed when given the chance; he made a costly error against AC Milan at San Siro, but has kept clean sheets in three Premier League games on the spin while De Gea has been in Spain for the birth of his child.
After two highly successful loan spells with Sheffield United, he has made 19 appearances for the Red Devils this season and there is a growing feeling he will eventually unseat De Gea to become the club’s number one.
The Mirror, though, seem to have jumped the gun a little by claiming that United are prepared to release De Gea this summer – two years before his contract expires – in order to clear space on the wage bill.
Their exclusive, which has since been co-opted by The Mail, The Sun and others, claims that the Old Trafford hierarchy are so desperate to get his huge salary off the bill that they are prepared to pay a ‘significant chunk’ of his remaining contract up front to move him on.
This conflicts directly with what 90min reported last month: that United are open to offers for the 30-year-old, but will not actively push to sell him out of respect for his contributions.
The Spaniard has made more than 400 appearances for the club, winning the Premier League and the FA Cup in the process, and United are not likely to instigate anything that would ruin their relationship. Like reneging on his contract and releasing him prematurely, for example.
Where The Mirror are more or less on the money is when they claim United are keen to promote Henderson as soon as possible. They don’t want to hinder the England cap’s development, and are well aware that the longer he spends as De Gea’s understudy, the more likely he is to seek a future elsewhere.
But they are intent on finding a balance that suits everyone, and don’t seem likely to go about tearing up contracts any time soon.