Erik ten Hag remains optimistic that David de Gea will sign a new contract at Manchester United to extend his Old Trafford career.
De Gea has been in protracted talks with the club over a new deal that would reduce his current £375,000-a-week salary.
The 32-year-old Spanish goalkeeper has been at United since 2011, but he will be a free agent on June 30 and, in theory, Sunday’s final Premier League game against Fulham could be his last appearance at Old Trafford.
But Ten Hag is still confident the two sides will reach an agreement so De Gea – who has just won the Golden Glove award for most Premier League clean sheets this season – will remain at United.
‘I think we want him to stay and he wants to stay, so I think we will find each other,’ said the United manager. ‘I never give a comment about how negotiations are going.’
Ten Hag is aiming to sign a new goalkeeper this summer to provide more competition for De Gea with uncertainty hanging over the future of back-up options Tom Heaton and Jack Butland.
But he would prefer to spend in the region of £15million to buy a No.2 rather than find a replacement for De Gea which would take up a bigger chunk of his transfer budget.
United have other areas of the team in greater need of strengthening with a world-class centre-forward the top priority followed by a central midfielder, centre-back and right-back.
Ten Hag’s planning has been hampered by the uncertainty over the takeover battle at Old Trafford with the Glazer family yet to decide whether to sell to Sir Jim Ratcliffe or Sheikh Jassim Bin Hamad Al Thani.
‘That is not my job,’ insisted Ten Hag when asked about the situation. ‘My job is to first identify, then nominate the right players. Then it is up to the club. I can’t tell at this moment. You have to ask the right people about this situation.’