Manchester United could be about to lose another Wayne Rooney with dilemma faced

Wayne Rooney on Harry Maguire's Man Utd form

Manchester United could lose David De Gea this summer, with the veteran yet to agree a new contract with the club. As a club legend whose best days are now behind him, and a high earner too, comparisons with Wayne Rooney can be made. However, while many fans online seem keen to see the back of the 32-year-old, they should be careful what they wish for…

Back in 2017, United had a dilemma.

Did they renew Rooney’s contract, and continue to stick by their iconic talisman, or cut him loose and sign somebody else instead?

In the end, United opted for the latter.

Jose Mourinho was manager at the time and when he took the United job he was delighted to finally be given the chance to work with Rooney.

He had, after all, tried to land the forward while he was manager of Chelsea three years previously.

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But while Rooney conjured the odd moment of magic, it was clear the veteran was past his best by the time of Mourinho’s arrival.

As the club’s highest-earner, the Red Devils thought long and hard what to do with the striker.

And in the end they opted to let Rooney go, with Romelu Lukaku arriving as a replacement in a huge £75million deal.

Fast-forward to now, and United face a similar conundrum with De Gea as the clock ticks down.

Just weeks ago, a new contract for the Spain international seemed to be inevitable – despite his clear struggles playing out from the back.

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Yet that doesn’t appear to be the case any longer and it’s interesting to see what will happen.

De Gea, like Rooney, is a United legend.

Certainly, without him, the immediate years after Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 could have been even worse.

De Gea is also, like Rooney, United’s highest-earner.

But the brutal truth of the matter is that he’s a goalkeeper out of time, with football evolving without him.

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While losing De Gea would enable United to sign a top replacement, however, that could be easier said than done.

Andre Onana, Mike Maignan and Diogo Costa have all emerged as possible options for United.

But Inter Milan, AC Milan and Porto won’t let their goalkeepers go without getting a substantial fee in return.

United should also be wary of history repeating itself as well.

Back in 1999, after Peter Schmeichel departed, the Red Devils struggled to fill the void left by his departure.

The likes of Mark Bosnich, Fabien Barthez and Tim Howard all failed to scale the same heights as the great Dane.

And it wasn’t until Edwin van der Sar touched down from Fulham in the summer transfer window of 2005 did United finally replace Schmeichel with a worthy heir.

As De Gea’s time at United seemingly ticks down, it’s yet another problem for manager Erik ten Hag.

Stick or twist, it’s certainly an intriguing situation.

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