Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has said he's "not confident" star goalkeeper David De Gea will sign a new contract at the club but is eager to see him stay as speculation of a future move to Juventus arises.
"I am not confident, but I'm also not worried. I cannot find the word in English, but let's see what happens.
"Only the club, David and his people can answer that. My comment is only that everyone knows how good he is, how important he is for Manchester United, and if the club want to be better than it is and not worse, obviously it would be very important to keep David."
The Times earlier reported Juventus could wait until June 2020 for what would be an incredibly valuable signing (h/t Jack Wilson of the Daily Express).
An insider at the club told The Times: "De Gea played against his future club on Tuesday. Juve are an expert in intelligent deals. If United don't sell him in the summer, Juventus will wait until the end of his contract."
The Bianconeri got a firsthand look at De Gea's qualities when they beat United 1-0 at Old Trafford in their UEFA Champions League group-stage clash on Tuesday (U.S. only):
The Spain No. 1 was in top form despite the defeat and kept his side in the fixture with a string of stellar saves. Mourinho spoke to BT Sport and was seemingly in awe of Juve's star-studded lineup:
The Turin giants have fashioned a reputation for conducting savvy transfer business and have signed a series of notable free agents in almost all of the past eight summer transfer windows.
Dating back to 2011, the Bianconeri have brought in Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba, Fernando Llorente, Kingsley Coman, Sami Khedira, Dani Alves and Emre Can without paying transfer fees.
But that trend could be altered now that former general manager Beppe Marotta has left the club after eight years, per Calciomercato.com.
The pressure is on Mourinho to turn the tide at Old Trafford, and the Sunday Times' David Walsh highlighted just how far above the United standard De Gea looks:
Sport Witness cited reports from Italy that shared a similar sentiment, with De Gea playing at a higher level to his United peers, who could perhaps do better:
De Gea will be 29 by the summer of 2020, and considering Gianluigi Buffon was No. 1 at the Allianz Stadium until the age of 40, United's goalkeeper could envision a long-term future in Serie A.
The Spain goalkeeper has shone as United's only bright spot over the past five years or so, and the looming figure of European heavyweights Juve could threaten their chances of keeping their talisman beyond the next 18 months.