Contract Impasse & Blocked Transfer – Erik ten Hag’s Decisions Add to Man Utd’s Dilemma

Contract Impasse & Blocked Transfer – Erik ten Hag’s Decisions Add to Man Utd’s Dilemma

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By Martin Graham | 30th Jun 2023

Manchester United’s negotiations with goalkeeper David de Gea over a new contract have hit an impasse, heightening speculation about the player’s future. De Gea, who has spent 12 years at Old Trafford, is reportedly unhappy with the substantial wage cut proposed by the club. With his contract set to expire imminently, the Spanish shot-stopper’s departure seems increasingly likely.

The prolonged contract saga has prompted United to explore potential replacements for De Gea. The club has held provisional talks with Inter Milan’s Andre Onana, as they seek to secure a capable successor. Another name in the mix is Brentford’s David Raya, although the Championship side’s valuation of £40 million has proven to be a stumbling block for interested parties.

Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, has now given a strong indication that De Gea might be on his way out. In the midst of this uncertainty, the club’s second-choice goalkeeper, Tom Heaton, has seen his hopes for a move dashed. Despite Heaton’s desire to play regular first-team football, Ten Hag has blocked his potential transfer, even as Dean Henderson remains sidelined until January due to a thigh injury.

Luton Town’s Bid for Tom Heaton Rejected, Contract Extension Likely

Tom Heaton, who returned to Manchester United for his second stint in 2021, has faced limited opportunities for game time. The 37-year-old goalkeeper has only made two appearances in the League Cup and one in the Europa League so far. Seeking more playing opportunities, Heaton had requested to be allowed to leave the club.

Newly promoted Luton Town had expressed interest in signing Heaton as their first-choice goalkeeper. However, Manchester United swiftly rebuffed Luton’s bid, indicating their intention to retain the experienced shot-stopper. Heaton’s current two-year deal, similar to De Gea’s contract, is nearing its expiration. Although Luton were aware of this situation, United holds the option for a one-year extension, which they are expected to exercise to ensure squad stability.

Erik ten Hag Turns Focus to New No. 1 and Secures Mason Mount Deal

With Tom Heaton’s move being blocked, Erik ten Hag, Manchester United’s manager, is now expected to intensify his search for a new first-choice goalkeeper. This pursuit comes on the heels of successfully securing a summer transfer deal for Chelsea midfielder Mason Mount. The two clubs reached an agreement on Thursday, with an initial fee of £55 million, potentially rising by an additional £5 million through add-ons.

Prior to finalizing the deal, Manchester United had seen three previous bids for the 24-year-old Mount rejected by Chelsea. The London club had been seeking a deal worth up to £65 million. Ultimately, a compromise was reached between the two clubs, considering Mount’s contract is set to expire in 12 months’ time.

As Manchester United navigates the uncertain futures of David de Gea and Tom Heaton, the club continues to make strategic moves to strengthen their squad, with securing a new goalkeeper and adding Mason Mount among their top priorities.

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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