LONDON • Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains optimistic that goalkeeper David de Gea will sign a new deal beyond summer next year, although he admitted that any contract negotiation is "out of my hands".
Speaking ahead of today's Premier League home match against Southampton, the Norwegian, reportedly the sole candidate to be the club's next permanent manager, said: "No updates from me, the club and David are in dialogue, hopefully they'll agree.
"I'm sure we'll do what we can. David's done fantastic since he came (in 2011), he's won so many points for us over the years.
"He's been United's Player of the Year I don't know how many years, we're grateful to have him.
"I would say he's the best goalkeeper in the world...
"Then again we've got Sergio (Romero) and Lee (Grant), fantastic goalkeeper department. I don't think there's any manager in the world who'll beat me in that respect."
British media reported yesterday that de Gea wants parity with the club's highest-paid player Alexis Sanchez, who is reportedly on a £400,000 (S$716,000)-a-week contract excluding bonuses and image rights.
United are said to have offered the 28-year-old Spanish goalkeeper up to £350,000 per week in their discussions.
On the pitch, the Red Devils extended their impressive unbeaten Premier League run (nine wins and two draws) under Solskjaer with a 3-1 win at Crystal Palace on Wednesday that boosted their hopes of finishing third.
United, in fifth, are one point behind fourth-placed Arsenal (56 points) and two clear of Chelsea, who have a game in hand.
Third-placed Tottenham, meanwhile, lead Arsenal by four points but have suffered two straight league defeats. They host the Gunners today.
It looks set to be a four-team chase for two spots and Solskjaer is wary of the Saints when they visit Old Trafford today.
He said: "We've had a good look at them. It was a big (2-0) win against Fulham, he (Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl) did great when he came in.
"We need to get back to winning ways at home and Southampton might change but we've got to focus on what we can improve on."
United still have eight players injured, but Solskjaer has confirmed that striker Marcus Rashford is in line to start.
MAN UNITED V SOUTHAMPTON
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