Manchester United red the 12-month option to extend David de Gea’s contract until 2020 as they battle to keep the Spain goalkeeper.
United were under pressure to activate the clause because De Gea would have been a free agent at the end of the season and able to talk to foreign clubs from January 1. It means United have more time to negotiate with his representatives, who have rejected terms of £275,000 a week and are understood to want parity with Alexis Sanchez on £350,000 plus bonuses.
The extra 12 months on De Gea’s current deal will also enable the club to demand a transfer fee of up to £75million if they decide to sell the 28-year-old next summer, amid interest from Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain. The third option is that he stays until the end of his contract in 2020 and then leaves on a free transfer. Although De Gea’s demands would make him the best-paid goalkeeper in the world, United are conscious of the cost of replacing him with the likes of Jordan Pickford or Jan Oblak.
Everton have no wish to sell Pickford and are unlikely to part with the England keeper for anything less than £75m, and Oblak has a £90m buyout clause in his contract at Atletico Madrid.