Belfast Telegraph

David De Gea poised to agree huge new Man United deal to stay at Old Trafford

By Robert Jones

Manchester United are on the brink of agreeing a new contract with goalkeeper David de Gea in a sensational turnaround.

The Spain international's agent Jorge Mendes arrived at the club's Carrington training ground yesterday afternoon for fresh talks with Louis van Gaal and club officials.

Just days after he looked set to join Real Madrid, a new United deal would represent a remarkable coup for the club.

De Gea was left angry after his £29million deadline day move to the Bernabeu fell through.

The Spanish giants pointed the finger of blame at United but De Gea was convinced that the Old Trafford club were not to blame and wanted him to stay.

With less than a year remaining on his contract, De Gea was still expected to join Madrid for free next summer but United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has launched a charm offensive with Van Gaal and talks were progressing well yesterday over a contract extension worth an estimated £4million a year.

De Gea and family members were at Carrington along with Mendes, his entourage and United secretary John Alexander from around 2.45pm.

Such a commitment from De Gea will be a timely shot in the arm for Van Gaal as he prepares to face Liverpool tomorrow with some of his squad unhappy at the current training regime and set-up.

It is understood that captain Wayne Rooney and vice-captain Michael Carrick approached their manager after the opening victory over Tottenham last month to express concerns.

They wanted to relay to the manager that players are feeling suppressed with Van Gaal's regimented routine and that it was sapping the enjoyment out of their game.

Players wanted more variety in their training sessions and have grown tired of continued unit meetings where the defence, midfield and attack are split into different groups to assess and dissect each game.

There are further preparation meetings and de-briefings to ensure every player knows what is required and where he may have gone wrong.

The attention to detail has worked in some respect with United looking better defensively but there is a belief their creative spark has been diluted.

Known as the 'Iron Tulip', Van Gaal is understood to have listened to the observations from Rooney and Carrick and promised to take them on board but little has changed yet as the Dutch coach looks to ensure the team follow his philosophy.

Van Gaal, meanwhile, has admitted that the fee paid for teenage French striker Anthony Martial was "a ridiculous amount of money", but added that it simply reflects the "crazy world" of football.

Van Gaal said the 19-year-old, signed from Monaco for £36million up front and a possible total fee of £58.8million, had been signed for the club's "next manager" - and suggested that would be his current assistant Ryan Giggs.

Speaking alongside Giggs at an event in Manchester for executive United season ticket holders, Van Gaal said: "I have not bought Martial for me - I have bought him for the next manager."

He added of Giggs: "I feel I am introducing the next manager of Manchester United."

And of the Martial fee, he said: "It was a ridiculous amount of money, but it's the crazy world we are in."

The Dutchman also claimed the Red Devils were quoted "£10million more" for a player than other clubs.

He also rejected criticism of United's recent style of football and results from former players, including Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, saying: "It makes me sick because they should know that it takes time."

Belfast Telegraph


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