Until David de Gea signs a new long-term contract at Manchester United, the rumours will persist.

Unfortunately for Jose Mourinho’s side, their current agreement means they can only extend the Spaniard’s deal for another 12 months. After that, he would be free to move on.

No United fan wants that, and De Gea could put pen to paper in due course.  But, if the worst was to happen, Mourinho should not spend a penny.

United have a ready-made replacement in the form of Joel Pereira. He may only be 22, but the Portuguese is a fantastic talent. He is also two years older than De Gea was when he arrived at Old Trafford for £18.9million (BBC).

(Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)

Pereira has long been tipped as the heir apparent between the sticks and he should be given a chance if De Gea does finally leave.

It would be a risk.  But so was picking the Spaniard and sticking with him during his shaky start.  Now he is arguably the best goalkeeper in the world and in time Pereira has the ability to follow.

Currently on loan Vitoria Setubal, the United youngster is doing well, moving from the bench to be their first-choice stopper for the last eight matches.

He has kept two clean sheets in that time and has helped his side to three wins in their last four games.

De Gea is a United legend. But, when the time does finally come to replace him, the club should look within.