David De Gea is becoming increasingly frustrated at what he thinks is unfair criticism of his performances for Spain and believes he is being singled out because he does not play for Barcelona or Real Madrid, sources have said.
De Gea’s place in the Spain team has been questioned after he was criticised for his role in Croatia’s late winner in a 3-2 UEFA Nations League defeat last Thursday.
It follows criticism of his performances at the World Cup where he was responsible for a Cristiano Ronaldo goal in a 3-3 draw with Portugal. They eventually went out following a round of 16 defeat to hosts Russia.
De Gea, United’s player of the year in four of the last five seasons, believes he is being unfairly targeted while sources have said he believes he is being treated harshly because he plays in the Premier League and not for Real Madrid or Barcelona in La Liga.
There have been calls in Spain for De Gea, who has 38 caps, to be replaced with Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga for their next fixtures in March.
Despite his unhappiness at what he believes is a “lack of respect,” sources have told ESPN FC that De Gea will not walk away from international football and is determined to keep his place for the European Championship in 2020.
De Gea’s future at United is also up in the air.
His deal is due to expire at the end of the season, although the club will trigger an option to extend it until 2020.
De Gea, who arrived from Atletico Madrid in 2011, is in talks about a longer contract but sources have told ESPN FC that progress has been slow.
He is open to staying at Old Trafford — in part because of the value he places on the support he has received from fans — but is keen to compete for domestic and European titles.
De Gea was part of the title winning team under Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013 but has not been beyond the quarterfinals of the Champions League in seven years at the club.
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