Sunday 26

Manchester United

Solskjaer shows De Gea support

11th September 2019, 12:24 by Gareth Freeman

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has thrown a protective arm around David de Gea in the wake of criticism over an obvious downturn in his form.

The Manchester United goalkeeper was handed his first start for Spain in four games in Monday’s 4-0 Euro 2020 qualifier stroll against the Faroe Islands.

De Gea has lost his established national number one spot to Chelsea’s Kepa Arrizabalaga, owing largely to a number of high-profile errors for both club and country, reaching back towards the end of last season.

There are growing concerns his continued contract stand-off with United could also be having an impact on his performances, with fears the Spaniard is ready to run down the rest of his deal and quit Old Trafford next summer on a free transfer.

Recent errors against Crystal Palace and Southampton have also started to see some United fans question if the 28-year-old is actually worth all the effort of a new £350,000-per-week contract offer, something which would have seemed unthinkable not long ago.

However, United insiders have revealed De Gea still retains the absolute backing of his manager and the pair have spoken regularly since the new campaign got underway.

The Norwegian knows his man has been going through a tough period but still believes the shot-stopper is the best in the world and is desperately trying to convince him to remain at United.

It’s also understood the Red Devils are concerned the shot-stopper is stalling on committing his long-term future, with one eye perhaps on seeing how Solskjaer’s team perform in the next few months.

De Gea is free to talk to clubs on the continent in January and the Manchester giants know all they can do between now and then is to show him their support and how highly they still value him.

Italian giants Juventus are reportedly ready to try their luck with a knockdown £25m offer and that will surely test United’s transfer resolve, if the former Atletico Madrid player still hasn’t penned fresh terms by then.

De Gea has made 366 appearances for United since his £18m arrival from Atletico Madrid in 2011, arguably becoming their most-important player in recent seasons, but the Spaniard is in a difficult moment, something not lost on Solskjaer.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Gareth Freeman is an experienced journalist who can offer in-depth knowledge on a host of sports, especially football, tennis, snooker and basketball.

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