There was a communal sigh of relief around the Manchester United fanbase this week after news broke that David de Gea’s contract was automatically renewed for a further year until the summer of 2020. Of course, it was just a formality from United’s board, but it does mean that the Spaniard is not free to talk to any clubs this January or sign a pre-contract for July of next year, where he would have been a free transfer.

De Gea is weighing up his options and is within every right to do so. After he has endured the chaotic start to his club’s season, there is no real surprise that he is not breaking his back to tie himself down to a long-term contract that will see him at the club throughout his prime years.

After Real Madrid finally bowed out of the lengthy race to sign the Spain international and turned to Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois, it leaves De Gea with two clear and obvious choices: Juventus of Italy, currently priced at 12/1, or Paris Saint-Germain of France, offered at 14/1.

Wojciech Szczęsny is the Bianconeri’s number one, with Mattia Perin his understudy, while 40 year old Gianluigi Buffon occupies the position in between the sticks for the crucial matches of PSG’s campaign, such as their most recent game against Liverpool in the Champions League.

Both clubs want to win Europe’s top prize and De Gea would provide them the security in goal that they are both longing for, as well as a reliable goalkeeper who will give them long-term consistency at the very highest echelon.

It goes without saying that Manchester United want to tie De Gea down and murmurs have come out that the Spaniard is interested in remaining at the club that has helped develop him into the goalkeeper he is today.

The former Atlético Madrid starlet values himself at £300,000 per-week, which seems more than fair given Alexis Sánchez, the Chilean who can do no right in a Red Devils jersey, is nearing to £500,000 per-week, including bonuses.

The problem of giving Sánchez such a sizeable pay packet is that other players were always going to use that as leverage. It only makes their position of power stronger. However, with a player like De Gea, who isn’t even asking for the club to match that wage, he deserves to become the world’s best-paid goalkeeper.

Manchester United's Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea saves a shot from Juventus' Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo during the Champions League group H football match between Manchester United and Juventus at Old Trafford in Manchester

Since arriving in Manchester in 2011 under Sir Alex Ferguson, De Gea has seen his career rise meteorically. He might have struggled to adapt physically to the Premier League at first, but once he adjusted, the Spaniard has never looked back. Picking up a club-record four Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year awards at Man United, De Gea has cemented his legacy at the club in a similar way that Cristiano Ronaldo did before him. The only difference being titles and trophies won.

Over the years in which Ferguson has not been at the helm of the club pulling the strings, De Gea has been a constant source of reliability. There has been turmoil pretty much everywhere else, but no matter what fire is burning around him, De Gea manages to keep cool, calm and collected when managed with keeping the opposition out.

There have been countless times in which the Spaniard has come to the rescue for Manchester United. Most recently, against BSC Young Boys, when the scoreline was locked at 0-0, De Gea plucked out a miraculous save in which the ball was already past him, on its way into the back of the net, when his outstretched hand scoops the danger away before the ball fully crossed the line.

It was another one for the highlight reel and his teammates should be forever thankful. That save helped United, in the end, claim an important three points which enabled them to qualify for the knockout rounds of the Champions League.

Man United’s players, managers and even board members should be indebted to the wonderful service that De Gea has provided over the years. Even when his dream of moving back to Madrid with Real in 2015 collapsed, Spain’s number one kept as professional as possible and played to the best of his ability. In the end, he signed a new deal with the club, but no one should underestimate the hardship of a move like that failing at the last hurdle.

Over the years, there have been too many saves to recount that were seemingly impossible for any other goalkeeper to make. His reflexes, intuition and shot-stopping ability are truly world-class and his standards have never dropped. What makes De Gea such a special player, and one that stands out from his competition, is his ability to produce match-winning performances week in, week out, no questions asked. He is a manager’s dream.

Time and time again he has saved United from their despair in a lacklustre era post-Ferguson and it is only fair that he should be rewarded with an exceptionally lucrative contract. For without him, Manchester United would be in a world of trouble.

David De Gea to sign before 2nd February:




Bayern Munich


Odds are correct at the time of posting

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