Manchester United are increasingly confident of tying David De Gea down to a new long-term deal after making a breakthrough in negotiations with the Spaniard, can reveal.

The 28-year-old has 18 months to run on his existing contract at Old Trafford after the club triggered a 12-month extension clause in his contract shortly before Christmas.

The Red Devils were reluctant to trigger the extension as they viewed it as an indication to clubs around Europe that De Gea was unwilling to stay at Old Trafford but the club felt obliged to do so after negotiations had slowed to a worrying point.

United had hoped to agree a long-term deal last summer but a catastrophic start to Jose Mourinho’s third campaign at the Theatre of Dreams led to De Gea contemplating his future at the club.