Manchester - Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said on
Friday he is confident Spanish international goalkeeper David de Gea will sign
a new deal linking him long-term to Old Trafford.
The 28-year-old de Gea's long-term future at the club has
been shrouded in uncertainty, although the club this week did activate an
option to extend his current contract by a year, meaning he is now signed up
until June 2020.
Had that extension not been triggered, De Gea would have
been free to talk to clubs outside England from January 1 and possibly sign a
Mourinho said after Tuesday's 1-0 Champions League win over
Young Boys he wanted De Gea to stay, and he remains optimistic an agreement on
the player's will be reached.
"He wants to stay, and I want him to stay of
course," Mourinho said at Friday's press conference.
"He's the level of player Manchester United needs.
"Manchester United needs the best players in the world.
"The manager wants him to stay, the board wants him to
stay, David wants to stay, and his agent (Jorge Mendes) wants the player to do
what he thinks is right."
Mourinho said Mendes - who is also his agent - unlike other
players' representatives lets his client have genuine input into the contract
"He is not the kind of agent who is manipulative like
others," said Mourinho.
"His agent lets him think and decide by himself so the
point is to agree the contract and that's just my feeling, they are going to
De Gea joined United in 2011 and has won the fans' player of
the year award in four of the past five seasons.
For all of United's well-publicised troubles with
high-profile stars such as Paul Pogba, Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku, the
form of De Gea has been magnificent for the club.
However, reports have resurfaced suggesting he could be set
for a move away from Old Trafford, with Juventus emerging as rumoured suitors
for his services.
De Gea, who is reportedly on a contract worth $255 000 a
week, is aware that Sanchez agreed a deal worth well more than double that
amount when he signed on a free transfer from Arsenal at the start of the year.
United's current indifferent form, and broader underlying
problems, will hardly have helped convince him to pledge the peak years of his
career to the club, especially given the disparity in pay.