Saturday 20 April 2019

Contract talks won't distract me - De Gea

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA
Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA

Phil Blanche

David De Gea insists he remains fully focused on football and not contract talks as speculation over his Manchester United future intensifies. Manager Jose Mourinho said in the build-up to today's Premier League home game against Everton he is "not confident" that United will tie the Spain goalkeeper down to a new deal.

De Gea's contract runs out in the summer - although United do have the option to extend this by a further year - and talks have been ongoing for several months. The 27-year-old is a reported target of Italian champions Juventus, who beat United in the Champions League on Tuesday.

"The important thing is to focus on football," said De Gea. "We have a big game against Everton and more important games are coming in the next few months. That's the main thing, not thinking about anything else.

"It's very easy to concentrate on where you need to be, partly because we have so many training sessions and matches every three or four days. You have to be focused on what is important, which is the team, winning, training well and being in the best shape to give your all."

De Gea joined United from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and has since established himself among the world's best goalkeepers. He has won the club's player of the year award in four of the last five seasons and is widely seen as United's best and most important player.

De Gea was moments away from joining Real Madrid in 2015, but the move fell through and he signed a deal with United until 2019 with the option to extend it by an extra year.

"It's been many years, eight seasons at the club," De Gea said. "I'm really very happy at the club, I always feel the warmth of the fans and those who work at the club. But ultimately the most important thing for the team is concentrating on where we need to be, which is winning games and not thinking about contracts and other things that can distract you.

"You don't have time to think about things that aren't totally important. There's no time to think of anything other than football."

United seek to get back to winning ways against Everton after drawing at Chelsea last Saturday and being outclassed by Juve. Mourinho's men are 12 points adrift of leaders Liverpool.

"We had two very intense matches in three days - very, very hard and without many solutions to make changes to the team," Mourinho said.

On Everton, Mourinho added: "Incredible investment in the summer . . . That's the level that Everton want to reach, without the pressure that we have because obviously (the) Manchester United name, history and dimension brings a different level of responsibility.

"It's a difficult match for us but after playing Chelsea and Juventus, the players must be ready for the challenge."

United's Alexis Sanchez, Marouane Fellaini and Diogo Dalot remain out with injuries suffered during the international break, but Scott McTominay and Jesse Lingard could be available.

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