De Gea’s fu­ture is un­cer­tain – Mour­inho

Span­ish goal­keeper’s deal at Old Traf­ford deal ex­pires next sum­mer

The Irish Times - Sports Weekend - - FRONT PAGE - Jamie Jackson Re­ports

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.

Late vic­tory

“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.

Avoid de­feat

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.

– Guardian

Jose Mour­inho and David De Gea

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