De Gea’s future is uncertain – Mourinho
Spanish goalkeeper’s deal at Old Trafford deal expires next summer
José Mourinho has admitted for the first time he is “not confident” that David de Gea will sign a new contract with Manchester United.
The Spaniard’s deal expires next summer, though the club have an option to extend it for a further 12 months.
In August, United believed they were close to a breakthrough yet De Gea passed up the chance to commit himself to the club when asked about his future before the Champions League match at Young Boys last month. United will exercise the one-year option but want the goalkeeper to stay longer.
De Gea had been moments away from joining Real Madrid in 2015, but the move fell through and the Spain international signed a deal with United until 2019 with the option to extend it by an extra year. Thibaut Courtois’ summer move to the Bernabeu increased hope within the club that they could agree a new contract with De Gea, but manager Mourinho is unsure about the Spaniard’s future amid links to Juventus.
“I am not confident,” Mourinho said. “But I am not worried. I am not more than worried. I cannot find the word in English. Let’s see what happens. Only the club, David and David’s people can answer to that.
“My comment is only one: everybody knows how good he is, everybody knows how important he is for Manchester United. And if Manchester United wants to be better than it is now and not worse than it is now, obviously that would be very important to keep David.”
Separately, Mourinho criticised Belgium, Portugal, Chile and Scotland for their treatment of United players over the recent international break. The manager is unhappy with them for not sending Marouane Fellaini, Diogo Dalot, Alexis Sánchez and Scott McTominay respectively back to the club when injured on international duty. He said McTominay was the most likely to be available to face Everton on Sunday.
Serbia’s Nemanja Matic and England’s Luke Shaw did return after proving unfit when they reported to their national squads.
“We go to the national team period in a good situation,” Mourinho said, reflecting on the late victory over Newcastle. “Then after two weeks we lost Dalot, Fellaini, Alexis, we lost McTominay. And some of them, the national teams, were very professional with us [regarding Matic and Shaw] and send the players back and we could start the process early. But some of them wouldn’t and kept the players, and we didn’t even know the dimension and nature of injuries.
“So players arrive two days before Chelsea, we have no idea what is going on. But we try to solve problems step by step.”
Mourinho pointed to Sánchez’s injury problems to explain why the forward is struggling. Sánchez was unavailable for the 3-2 defeat at Brighton in August because of a minor injury, but has been fit enough to make eight appearances, from which he has scored only one goal.
“He’s struggling because he’s injured,” Mourinho said. “He came to the Chelsea match [playing for five minutes as a substitute last weekend] to try to help the team but his physical condition was not good. So he was not available for Juventus and is not available for Everton again.”
Sánchez managed only three goals last season for United after signing in the winter window.
Meanwhile, Liverpool will return to the top of the Premier League if they avoid defeat against Cardiff City at Anfield this afternoon (live on Sky Sports Premier League, 3pm).
Xherdan Shaqiri, who impressed in the defeat of Red Star Belgrade on Wednesday, is pressing for inclusion from the start again and Klopp believes the £13million summer signing from Stoke City has yet to realise his full potential.
“I don’t think anybody has an idea at the moment how good Shaq can be,” he said. “It’s not a criticism, it’s just how it is. I knew him when he was 19 at Bayern and he was already an outstanding talent. He had a good first year, second year he wasn’t that good - but that can happen. Then he left.
“You can disappear a bit. Inter Milan and then Stoke. Thank God, he didn’t disappear. He always had his moments. When I asked for us to cut a few scenes of Shaqiri nobody said: ‘Come on, Shaqiri? Really?’ Then when we cut them together it was really impressive how decisive he was.”
Naby Keita has joined fellow midfielder Jordan Henderson in being ruled out of today’s game with Cardiff. Klopp revealed Keita will sit things out for a third successive match due to the hamstring injury he picked up while on international duty with Guinea.
Jose Mourinho and David De Gea