David De Gea's Contract Option Reportedly Activated by Manchester United

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistNovember 29, 2018

LAS PALMAS DE GRAN CANARIA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 18:  David de Gea of Spain looks on prior to the international friendly match between Spain and Bosnia & Herzegovina at Estadio de Gran Canaria on November 18, 2018 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Spain.  (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Manchester United have reportedly activated an option in David De Gea's contract, adding an additional year to his deal.

Per Simon Stone of BBC Sport, De Gea's contract would have run out in the summer had the Red Devils not exercised the option.

That could have left him open to negotiating a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club in January. United were always expected to use the option, but by doing it, they avoid "uncertainty" over his immediate future.

Per Stone, De Gea is open to committing his long-term future to the Red Devils.

Speculation regarding a new contract has picked up in the past few days, and Ciaran Kelly of the Manchester Evening News gave fans reason to be hopeful:

Ciaran Kelly @MENCKelly

United and David de Gea's camp have been 'optimistic' he will sign new deal. 'Keeper's been moved by fans' support and his partner has relocated to Manchester. Key for United now is to prove they can match his ambition. Class act. #mufc

The 28-year-old has also been linked with Italian champions Juventus, and the Times recently reported the Bianconeri would be willing to wait until 2020 to sign him on a free transfer (h/t Jack Wilson of the Daily Express)

De Gea has been United's star performer for the past few seasons, winning the club's Player of the Year award four times in the past five years. While the Red Devils have gone through one of the worst stretches in their recent history, he's been a constant bright spot in the Premier League.

The former Atletico Madrid man is not without his critics, however. His form for the Spain national team hasn't been nearly as consistent, and a recent poll recently revealed fans wanted him dropped from the squad, per ASMarco Gonzalez.

His obvious quality and contract situation will make De Gea a prime target for clubs looking for an elite stopper. Most top teams have such a player, but Juventus would be an obvious destination should he come available. They invested in Mattia Perin over the summer and have Wojciech Szczesny on the books, but there's little doubt De Geawould be an upgrade over both.

United will fight tooth and nail to keep him, however, and will likely make him their highest-paid player if they have to. According to the Daily Mail's Chris Wheeler, that's exactly what he's after.