Nervous De Gea cuts short holiday in bid to keep Man Utd place

  • Chris Myson
  • Updated: July 20, 2021, 21:46 CEST
  • 3 min read
David de Gea is under pressure at Man Utd

David de Gea is under pressure at Man Utd

David de Gea will make an early return from his post-Euro 2020 holiday as he fights for his Manchester United future.

Widespread reports have confirmed De Gea is back with United after just a two-week break, rather than the usual three afforded to players who have been on international duty.

"He could have taken it easy for three weeks but he also knows Hendo [Dean Henderson] is equally determined to prove himself to Ole," a United insider was quoted as telling The Sun.

"David wants to be back and sharp."

Unai Simon was preferred to De Gea by Spain at the Euros and the 30-year-old now faces a fight for selection at club level.

Dean Henderson is De Gea's challenger

Dean Henderson is De Gea's challenger

Henderson had won the number one spot from De Gea by the end of the 2020/21 season.

And the campaign then ended miserably for De Gea as Villarreal beat United in a memorable Europa League final penalty shoot-out, the keeper missing the decisive kick after struggling to keep out the Spanish side’s efforts.

Henderson is already in training as he recovers from a hip injury that kept him out of the Euros and De Gea is reportedly eager not to lose any ground.

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Can any teams afford De Gea?

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces a big decision, with it widely accepted that keeping both players at the club for another season in a rotation system could be problematic.

One factor that makes it harder for De Gea to move is the transfer fee United would request and the enormous contract – he is said to earn £375,000-a-week - that would need to be taken on by another club.

Premier League teams have fared better than most on the continent when it comes to finances amid the coronavirus pandemic, and a switch to another English side would appear to be unlikely.

Paris Saint-Germain are one of the clubs who could afford De Gea, but their links to the Spaniard never appeared likely to lead to a move.

They already had Keylor Navas performing at a higher level and have since signed Italy star Gianluigi Donnarumma from Milan.

Aside from Henderson, United added Tom Heaton to their goalkeeping options this summer, with veteran Lee Grant also still on the books.

That means there is experienced back-up if one of the two main keepers moves on.

Solskjaer is likely to finalise his plans during the pre-season campaign, with the Premier League season starting against Leeds United on August 14.