Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent reign at Manchester United got off to a disappointing start against Wolves on Tuesday night.
The Red Devils were on the wrong end of a 2-1 scoreline at Molineux, chalking up just their second Premier League defeat in the Norwegian’s three months at the club.
It was a less than convincing team performance, epitomised by Wolves’ scrappy winner in the 77th minute.
The ball bounced off Chris Smalling and trickled past an unconfident David de Gea, whom many believe could and should have done more to deal with the situation.
True or not, the Spaniard looked out of sorts from the first whistle to the last.
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That has been the case for a while now, too.
In stark contrast to other key members of the United squad, De Gea has suffered a notable dip in form since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho last December.
There’s a sense that the goalkeeper who won four of the past five Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year awards hasn’t turned up between the sticks for some time.
That may be a result of De Gea setting himself an unparalleled standard in recent years, though his contract situation could be another contributing factor.
The Spain international has just one year left on his current deal as he and United remain locked in a standoff that has stretched out for the best of the last 18 months.
It’s believed De Gea wants wages matching those of Alexis Sanchez, while the Red Devils are only willing to make him the world’s best-paid goalkeeper on £350,000-a-week.
Despite the disparity between the two parties, the Mirror claims United aren’t under any pressure to sell.
Instead, they’re open to letting De Gea enter the final year of his contract, and risk parting with a £75 million-rated asset for nothing next summer.
United are taking a big gamble on being able to lock in new terms before then, even though the 28-year-old is reportedly eager to continue his career at Old Trafford.
It would be a huge blow for Solskjaer to lose De Gea within the first 12 months of his three-year appointment.
You have to feel a bit for the new boss; the honeymoon period of his interim tenure is well and truly over.News Now - Sport News