​Manchester United officials are reported to be growing increasingly confident of tying David De Gea down to a new long-term deal after making a breakthrough in negotiations with the Spaniard.

The Spanish shot-stopper has 18 months to run on his existing contract at Old Trafford after the club triggered a 12-month extension clause in his contract shortly before Christmas last year.

​Metro report that the club were initially reluctant to trigger the extension clause as they thought that it would send a wrong signal to other European clubs that De Gea was unwilling to extend his stay at Old Trafford.

United wanted to tie De Gea down to a long term deal last summer itself but the goalkeeper wanted to wait and see Jose Mourinho’s future at the club, which eventually ended in disaster. That led to the Spaniard contemplating his future at United.

However, the report reveals that negotiations with De Gea’s representatives resumed last month following the appointment of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the club have been encouraged by the willingness to agree a new deal.

Another thing that was reported recently was that although money is not a factor for De Gea, the Spaniard wanted near-to or equal wages as earned by Alexis Sanchez, in recognition of his improvement since signing his last deal in 2015. The report from Metro further claims that De Gea is close to signing a new contract worth around £375,000-a-week.

The contract amount is before bonuses and will run until 2024. It will make De Gea the highest paid goalkeeper in the world and will be a huge increase on the £210,000-a-week he currently earns.

​De Gea closing in to a sign a new deal will be the most important piece of business that Manchester United would do in the coming months leading up to the summer transfer window. Anthony Martial signed a five-year deal last week, while Ander Herrera and Ashley Young are also expected to sign extensions.

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