Chelsea have been described as ‘confident’ of signing Manchester United midfielder Angel Gomes, who is now thought to have rejected the latest offer of a new contract at Old Trafford.
Gomes is on course to become a free agent when his current deal expires at the end of next month and United have so far failed to convince the 19-year-old to stay at the club he has been with since joining the academy at the tender age of six.
Gomes became United’s youngest league debutant since Duncan Edwards in 1953 when he made his Premier League bow as a substitute at 16 on the final day of the 2016/17 season. He then became the youngest ever winner of the club’s Jimmy Murphy Young Player of the Year award, which was created in 1990 and has been won by Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Wes Brown and Marcus Rashford.
Yet further first-team opportunities have proven difficult to come by. The England youth captain, whose father was a teammate of Luis Figo and Rui Costa at the 1991 Under-20 World Cup, has only made 10 senior appearances for United in the three years since his debut.
The Daily Mirror notes that a lack of chances has contributed to his decision to turn down a new United contract worth £30,000 per week.
The newspaper reports that Gomes has also recruited super agent Pini Zahavi, who is said to have already held talks with top ranking Chelsea official Marina Granovskaia.
United recently managed to convince Dutch winger Tahith Chong, who was in a similar position to Gomes and linked with Inter and Juventus, to commit his future to the club. Gomes is proving more difficult, with the assurances he appears to be seeking simply not possible.
Given the coronavirus crisis and its severe impact on the season, it remains unclear when Gomes might leave United. The Premier League has been considering how to handle contracts due to expire this June when the season – assuming it resumes at all – will be played well into the summer.
While debate rages over neutral venues and even how players could tackle one another with their head turned away, that was one of things an agreement was reached on at the latest meeting.
Any player out of contract next month can agree a temporary extension with their club that covers the remainder of the 2019/20 season until the day of the final game, whenever that may be.
The alternatives are the agreement of a new contract until at least the end of the 2020/21 season, or no offer at all that would render players free agents upon the expiration of their existing terms on 30 June. In the latter scenario, however, players would not be eligible to play for a new club this season.
Therefore, should Gomes not agree to a permanent or temporary extension with United and agrees a free agent deal with Chelsea, he could not play for his new club until the season is over.