Sunday 18 February 2018

David De Gea's Manchester United future in doubt if Louis van Gaal remains

David de Gea could leave Manchester United if Louis van Gaal remains as manager Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images
David de Gea could leave Manchester United if Louis van Gaal remains as manager Photo: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images

James Ducker

David De Gea is likely to stay at Manchester United this summer in the event of Jose Mourinho becoming the club's next manager.

But the United goalkeeper's future at Old Trafford will become much less certain if the club opts to keep faith with Louis van Gaal, whose prospects of seeing out the final year of his contract suffered another blow on Sunday with Champions League qualification now effectively out of reach.

Another player whose future could also be linked to the managerial situation at United is Zlatan Ibrahimovic. There were also reports in France last night that United have accelerated talks to sign the Sweden striker as a free agent when his deal expires at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season.

United are said to have offered Ibrahimovic a one-year contract, with the offer of an additional 12 months, although it remains to be seen whether a deal would also hinge on Mourinho succeeding Van Gaal. Ibrahimovic has been highly critical of Van Gaal in the past and accused him of being a "pompous a***" and "a dictator" in his autobiography after the player was caught in a power struggle between the Dutchman and Ronald Koeman at Ajax in 2004.


By contrast, Ibrahimovic has a close relationship with Mourinho, under whom he won the Serie A title with Inter Milan in 2009.

United must beat Bournemouth by 19 clear goals in their rescheduled final Premier League fixture at Old Trafford this evening to finish in the top four, which means the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace on Saturday represents Van Gaal's last opportunity to salvage something from a miserable season.

United have an agreement in principle with Mourinho, but despite the former Chelsea manager's belief that he will succeed Van Gaal in Manchester this summer, nothing has yet been signed.

De Gea is unhappy at the prospect of a second season in three without Champions League football and he is thought to be one of a number of players who will consider their futures should Van Gaal stay.

United have privately dismissed claims that there is a release clause in the four-year contract De Gea signed 10 days after his move to Real Madrid collapsed in September but the club's hopes of keeping him will be boosted if Mourinho takes over. De Gea and Mourinho are both represented by agent Jorge Mendes.

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