By Craig Kemp
Last Updated: 17th July 2019
Alongside Ander Herrera and Juan Mata having reached the end of their contracts with Manchester United, four other players are at the point where the club can activate a one-year extension on existing deals.
Three of these are Andreas Pereira, new father Matteo Darmian and Antonio Valencia, but undoubtedly the one that will generate the most newspaper headlines during the ongoing transfer window is David de Gea.
Reports indicate that the Spanish goalkeeper is prepared to sign a new deal, but he wants double his existing salary to match that of current high earner Alexis Sanchez.
This seems more than the Red Devils are prepared to pay and Man Utd are also desperate to avoid the real possibility that one of their most valuable assets could leave for free next summer.
Therefore, a sale this summer seems the best option for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, especially as the finances accrued would be welcome given the squad rebuilding required at Old Trafford.
De Gea is 4/5 to have signed for PSG before 3rd September, with Real Madrid next best in the betting at 7/1.
But what is the going rate that the French champions or anyone else must pay for the goalkeeper now seemingly relegated to Spain number two behind Chelsea’s Kepa?
Maybe current Real Madrid stopper Thibaut Courtois can help shed some light, on the basis he was in the same position at Chelsea a year ago,
Courtois’ Chelsea exit
Courtois was also entering the last year of his contract at Stamford Bridge a year ago. He eventually sealed a deal for £35m to Real Madrid, but there were two big differences in that transfer negotiation.
Firstly, Courtois’ stock was high, having just been crowned with the Golden Glove for the best goalkeeper at the 2018 World Cup when helping Belgium to a third-place finish.
After two very high-performing seasons at Old Trafford where De Gea was rightfully in the argument to be considered the world’s best goalkeeper, his stock has diminished marginally following a less-fluent campaign.
Secondly, Courtois was fairly forceful in seeking a move away, not turning up for Chelsea training when news emerged that Real Madrid were interested and there was a chance to move closer to his children in Spain.
De Gea seems more content to remain in Manchester and play out the final year of his deal.
The fact Courtois was forcing a move arguably lowered the price Chelsea could hold out for, but his superior form and being two years younger possibly drove up his price slightly.
There’s no obvious reason why De Gea is worth any more than £35m and this would still represent double the amount Man Utd paid Atletico Madrid in 2011.
However, with the Red Devils likely to be holding out for nearer £50m, much will hinge on how desperate a would-be buyer is to have the Spaniard on board immediately, or whether they would be prepared to wait another season to potentially have him for free.
Les Parisiens may well prove to be that team, as although De Gea isn’t required in terms of winning another Ligue 1 title, he would be a valuable asset if they are to go deeper in the Champions League.