Solskjaer keen to resolve De Gea contract delay

MANCHESTER: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains confident that goalkeeper David de Gea will commit his future to the club despite entering the final year of his contract.

United hoped the Spanish international would sign a new deal before the season began, but are still waiting for De Gea to put pen to paper.

As it stands, the 28-year-old would be free to speak to any European clubs from January 1 and leave next summer on a free transfer.

United have reportedly offered a deal worth around £290,000-a-week to make De Gea the joint highest earner still at the club, alongside Paul Pogba, but still short of the £400,000-a-week Alexis Sanchez was earning at Old Trafford prior to his loan move to Inter Milan.

“I’ve obviously not been involved in all the discussions, but I’m pretty confident we’ll get this sorted,” said the Norwegian. “David has never said anything else to me, other than that he loves this club, he wants to stay here and he’s had a fantastic time. So let’s hope we just get it over the line.”

Protracted negotiations over De Gea’s future were offered as a reason for his poor form towards the end of last season.

He was also at fault for Patrick van Aanholt’s late winner as Crystal Palace won 2-1 at Old Trafford last month.

But the man crowned United’s Player of the Year on four occasions during his eight years in Manchester retains the backing of Solskjaer.

“He has had a fantastic time here but of course whenever he concedes a goal, it’s headlines, that he should have saved it. You have to be resilient and you need to have robust confidence and he’s fine. I don’t worry about David at all.”

De Gea was part of the last United team to win the Premier League title in Alex Ferguson’s final season in 2013.

Now Solskjaer wants the goalkeeper to be part of his plans as he tries to restore United to their former glory.

“My focus and the club’s focus is to convince him to stay,” he added. “He can see what we are doing and he knows what we’re doing. We want the best players here and most of the time the ones we want, stay. There are not many that we want to keep that we don’t manage to keep.”

Solskjaer needs all the help he can get at the moment as United have won only one of their last nine league games stretching back to last season.

With West Ham and Arsenal to come this month, it is a tricky run of league fixtures for United, but the manager is convinced the team are on the right track.

“There is always pressure here but of course I’m confident in what we are doing,” said Solskjaer. “We have a plan and the performances have not told me that we need to change direction. Results, now that is a different matter.”

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