Peter Schmeichel has criticised the handling of David de Gea’s contract situation and has urged Manchester United to look to Hugo Lloris, rather than Jasper Cillessen, if they are unable to keep the Spaniard at Old Trafford.
De Gea watched from the stands as United began their season with a 1-0 win over Tottenham on Saturday. Manager Louis van Gaal selected Sergio Romero ahead of De Gea as he felt the 24-year-old would not have been able to focus properly on the match after a summer of speculation regarding his future.
Real Madrid are interested in signing the Spain international, but United are refusing to do business with the 10-time European champions unless they get defender Sergio Ramos in return.
It is understood that United are still hopeful of keeping De Gea at United beyond September 1 even though the player was left out of the match day squad and may not feature for the club until after the transfer window closes. Schmeichel admits the situation is far from ideal and should have been resolved before the season began.
“If the player is not happy; his agent, himself and the club that want him should have sorted this a long time ago,” the former United goalkeeper said. “It’s sad that it’s dragged into the season.”
After a series of excellent displays, De Gea won United’s player of the year award for a second successive season in May. The former Atletico Madrid stopper was also named in the Professional Footballers’ Association team of the year.
Schmeichel wants De Gea to snub a move to the Spanish capital, but concedes there is little United can do if the player wants to leave.
“I’d really like De Gea to stay,” said Schmeichel, who won the Premier League five times during his eight-year spell at Old Trafford.
“Two years running he’s been player of the year. You don’t let players like that go but if he wants to go, let him go.”
GRAPHIC: David De Gea vs Iker Casillas pic.twitter.com/6vBEUHYjzD
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 15, 2015
Schmeichel is surprised United have lined up Cillessen as a replacement for De Gea. Van Gaal substituted the Ajax goalkeeper for Tim Krul in the dying minutes of extra-time during Holland’s win over Costa Rica at the World Cup last year because he felt the Newcastle man was better at saving penalties.
Schmeichel added: “Cillessen is a good goalkeeper, but (Van Gaal) took him off for the shoot-out at the World Cup. I think he doesn’t trust him 100 per cent. If De Gea goes I would love Lloris to come to United. He has exactly the style of play and is proven in the league.”
Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick said that there was "plenty of work to do to improve" after they got off to a winning start in the English Premier League against Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend, while Bastian Schweinsteiger said the reception from United fans on his league debut was a "great feeling".
In this week's #360podcast, Mark Lomas, James Piercy and Scott Grayston look back on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.
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