Slovanian Could Replace De Gea
Manchester United have identified Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak as a potential successor to David de Gea should the Spaniard leave Old Trafford.
De Gea is out of contract at the end of next season and the Spaniard is looking for the same £400,000-a-week basic wage that the club’s top earner Alexis Sanchez earns. But United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward believes the club made a mistake offering such generous terms to Sanchez, especially as his performances haven’t lived up to his pay packet.
Those wages have also made it difficult for United to shift Sanchez as few clubs can afford that kind of money. The exceptions are those in China and the Middle East, but Sanchez isn’t looking to move outside Europe.
Oblak is ranked alongside de Gea as one of Europe’s top keepers and he is usually among the first names that spring to mind when discussions take place over de Gea’s future. Metro claims he is top of the replacement list. However, the Slovenia international has a release clause of €100million – £86.5million at present exchange rates – in his current deal with Atletico.
But when such a move could take place is open to question. De Gea still has one more season to go on his current deal. He knows that he leaves on a free transfer at the end of next season his bargaining power would be that much greater than if his next club has to pay a transfer fee. However, that puts Manchester United in the dangerous position of possibly losing their best player for nothing.
Keane Slams Pogba
Meanwhile, Roy Keane has hit out at Manchester United forward Paul Pogba labelling the Frenchman “a big problem” at Old Trafford.
Speaking to Sky Sports before Wednesday night’s 2-0 derby day defeat to Manchester City, Keane suggested the current United squad were “full of bluffers” and he offered this assessment of Pogba, his effort and his attitude.
“The guy is a talented boy, but we’re saying the same thing over and over again. The number of times we’ve seen him in games where he is not sprinting or running back. He’s a big problem for United.
“Graeme [Souness] spoke earlier about needing good senior players at your football club. He’s a senior player, played in big competitions and won big trophies. I don’t think he leads by example, from what I see. I don’t know what he’s like on the training ground or when they’re travelling, but from what I see. He mentioned body language and pride, but I don’t see it in his performances. My eyes don’t lie to me.”