Rio Ferdinand doesn’t expect David de Gea to hang around to challenge for the No. 1 shirt at Manchester United if it becomes clear that Dean Henderson has taken over as first-choice goalkeeper.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continues to field questions about which of his ‘keepers is top of the pecking order at Old Trafford and De Gea’s former teammate, Rio Ferdinand, expects the Spaniard to push for a move away if he has been overtaken.
De Gea has not played for the Red Devils since February 28 although the long-time United stopper was granted paternity leave to return to Spain for the birth of his first child last month.
Dean Henderson has performed well for the most part when selected by Solskjaer and, apparently, the United boss had been considering dropping De Gea as far back as November.
According to Ferdinand, De Gea will not be willing to sit on the bench next season and could well put in a transfer request.
Speaking on BT Sport, Ferdinand said: “You’ve got two options: you fight for your position or you say, ‘that’s me, I’m off to somewhere where I’m seen as a number one’.
“If Dean Henderson finishes this season as the number one then David de Gea will be doing all he can to get out of this football club, I’m sure.
“He loves it at Man United, he lives and breathes this football club, he has done since he’s been here. But I don’t see him staying here and saying, ‘right, Dean Henderson has the shirt, I’m going to sit and wait’. No chance, I don’t see it, he’s going to want to go.”
United would reportedly have to part with a significant pay-off if they are to force De Gea out of the club but it might not come to that if the 30-year-old agrees to pursue a new challenge.
Ferdinand, who played with De Gea for three years, doesn’t think the Spanish ‘keeper is the kind of player who will be content to play second fiddle.
“At the end of the day, two number ones, I don’t think it works,” Ferdinand continued. “You need the second ‘keeper to know he’s not playing, to understand he’s going to be the back-up if there’s any injuries, cup competitions they come in and play.
“David de Gea isn’t that guy, he’s not that person – he’s been a mainstay in this team and maybe Ole sees it a little bit different now, he’s seen someone who can compete for the number one shirt and has now put him in the front of the queue.
“Does De Gea accept that and stay? I don’t believe so.”