Rio Ferdinand believes David de Gea’s time at Manchester United may be drawing to a close, with the former Red Devils defender tipping the Spanish goalkeeper for a summer exit after losing his starting berth to Dean Henderson.
A change between the sticks has been made at Old Trafford in a season which has delivered plenty of speculation regarding the No 1 spot in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans.
De Gea – a four-time Player of the Year at United – currently finds himself filling back-up duties, with England international Henderson edging ahead of him in the pecking order, and that situation could see the 30-year-old shot-stopper seek a move elsewhere when the next window opens.
Ferdinand feels De Gea may be left with little choice but to sever ties with the Red Devils after 10 years in England, telling BT Sport: “You’ve got two options: you fight for your position or you say, ‘that’s me done, I’m off and I’ll go somewhere else.’
“If Dean Henderson finishes the season as No 1, I don’t see De Gea staying there. No chance, I don’t see it. I think he’ll go out now.
“His wages will be a determining factor but at the end of the day, two No 1s doesn’t work.
“De Gea has been a mainstay in the team but Ole is maybe seeing things differently now.
“He’s put Henderson in front of him in the queue. Does De Gea accept that and stay? I don’t think so.
“Henderson has been waiting for this opportunity. Now the pressure is on him. Can he live up to the hype? I’m excited for him and looking forward to see what he can do. Solskjaer has seen something in him but he has to perform now. It’s okay being No 1 at Sheffield United, but it’s a different kettle of fish at Manchester United.
“David will be supporting his team-mate but when he gets home, his pride and ego will be hurting, and if it’s not, he shouldn’t be here. He’s in the prime of his career and he wants to play every week.”
There was a time when each passing transfer window brought renewed talk of interest from Real Madrid in De Gea. They have since moved on, with Thibaut Courtois a long-term option for the Liga giants, but transfer rumours remain.
De Gea did commit to a four-year contract back in September 2019, bringing speculation regarding his future to a close at that point, but it remains to be seen if that deal will be honoured.
There has been talk of move to Paris Saint-Germain being put in place, while several sides in Italy – including Inter and Juventus – are also said to be keeping a close eye on events at Old Trafford.