Sunday 18 August 2019

De Gea agrees £375,000-per-week United deal but Lukaku still wants out

David De Gea. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images
David De Gea. Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

James Ducker

David de Gea will become the world's highest paid goalkeeper after agreeing a new six-year contract with Manchester United worth around £117m.

But Romelu Lukaku remains determined to quit United and is hoping Inter Milan come back with an improved offer after the Italian club had an opening £54m bid rejected.

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De Gea - who made his first appearance of pre-season in United's 1-0 win over Inter Milan in Singapore yesterday - will put pen to paper on the new deal, believed to be worth around £375,000 a week, once he returns to Manchester from the tour.

Yet while the United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, will be relieved about the clarity over De Gea's future, Lukaku remains in limbo.

Teenage striker Mason Greenwood again took full advantage of Lukaku's absence with the only goal against Inter in the International Champions Cup at Singapore's National Stadium yesterday, three days after claiming his first senior goal in the 4-0 victory against Leeds United in Perth.

Solskjaer has ruled out any prospect of Greenwood being loaned out as the 17-year-old further boosted his chances of starting United's opening Premier League game against Chelsea on August 11.

Solskjaer suggested for the first time yesterday that United were able to play "a different way" without Lukaku but the manager risks being stuck with the Belgium striker unless Inter find a way of getting closer to his £90m valuation. The Italian club need to offload Mauro Icardi, who is attracting interest from Juventus, to free up cash.

"If you're a player and don't manage to train for a week - and he's missed three games now - I think he'll be concerned," Solskjaer said. "He's working to get back on the pitch and let's see how long that takes. It's his ankle.

"I think we have done really well without Romelu but we all know he's one of the top, top strikers in the world. We've played a different way maybe with Anthony [Martial], Marcus [Rashford], Mason."

De Gea, 28, is believed to have thought long and hard about his future this summer after a dismal last season, when United finished sixth in the Premier League, 32 points adrift of champions Manchester City.

United's willingness to make him the club's highest paid player after Alexis Sanchez, and the support he received from Solskjaer and the coaching staff in the final months of the campaign when his form nosedived, had a significant bearing on his decision.

United would not sanction the England Under 21 goalkeeper, Dean Henderson, returning to Sheffield United on loan until De Gea's future was resolved. But a meeting between Henderson's agent, Sean McDaid, and United's head of corporate development, Matt Judge, in London on Monday over a new contract for the goalkeeper went well and another loan deal with Sheffield United should be agreed. Henderson has attracted some interest from Bayern Munich but United regard him as a potential future No 1.


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