Manchester United midfielder Angel Gomes is refusing to sign a new contract with the club because of concerns over the potential lack of first-team opportunities awaiting if he re-commits.
Despite becoming United’s youngest league debutant since Duncan Edwards in 1953 when he made his bow in May 2017, and being the youngest ever recipient of the prestigious Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award, Gomes has only made 10 senior appearances for the club.
Out of contract this year and on course to become a free agent, it was reported in recent days that the 19-year-old has turned down a lucrative new deal worth an estimated £30,000 per week.
His stance is rumoured to have given Chelsea belief that they can poach the England youth captain, with the Stamford Bridge club having been described as ‘confident’.
Although suspected and already alluded to in this week’s earlier reports on the matter, the latest from the Manchester Evening News adds a further layer of detail to the saga.
It is explained that Gomes still has ‘doubts about a possible pathway to the first-team’, which appears not to have been suitably addressed by the improved offer on the table from United.
Despite being rumoured to be worth £30,000 per week, an annual salary in excess of £1.5m, the MEN report suggests Gomes’ representatives are still ‘underwhelmed’ by the offer.
It is further stated that even though United have better been able to provide positive assurances over the club’s general direction, the implication is that Gomes is concerned about Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Jude Bellingham arriving and ramping up competition even more.
The English trio, who are aged 20, 24 and 16 respectively, have emerged as United’s primary transfer targets this year. Despite concerns about the financial impact on football of the coronavirus crisis, 90min was able to reveal this month that United still intend try and sign Sancho, a friend of Gomes' from England's junior sides, even though they have lowered what they are willing to spend on him.
It appears as though the contract dispute with Gomes, who impressed during last summer’s pre-season tour, has further harmed his first-team chances. The MEN writes that manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has taken a ‘dim view’ of the situation and explains that Gomes was out of the first-team picture for around three months earlier this year as a result.
Fellow academy graduate Tahith Chong was in the same boat as Gomes until recently, but the Dutch winger, who was linked to Inter and Juventus, signed a new two-year deal in March.