MANCHESTER, England — Jose Mourinho has told Manchester United to prove they are a big club and push the boat out to keep David De Gea.
The Spain international made an incredible save to prevent Young Boys substitute Ulisses Garcia from putting the Swiss champions in front at Old Trafford before Marouane Fellaini scored a stoppage-time winner to send United into the last-16 of the Champions League.
De Gea, who will be out of contract in 2020, is in talks over a new deal amid interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus and Mourinho has told Ed Woodward and the board to get the deal done.
“He is a world-class player,” Mourinho said. “He is the best goalkeeper in the world and if our ambitions are to be a big club, to be a winning club, you need the best goalkeeper in the world — and you need also some other players the best in the world.
“In this case, we have the best goalkeeper in the world and I know that he wants to stay.
“I know that his agent is happy to do what the player wants and I also know that the board wants him to stay and they’re working on that, so hopefully sooner or later they arrive into good conclusions.”
Mourinho dropped Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku to the bench against Young Boys while Alexis Sanchez was left out completely despite being fully fit.
The pair came on in the second half but United still needed Fellaini to pop up with a late winner. It prompted Mourinho to show his frustration by throwing a water bottle carrier to the ground.
“It was relief,” said Mourinho. “Frustration before that and relief with the goal. I think we didn’t play for that, we didn’t play for 0-0 and to be in trouble until the last minute, so frustration.
“I was not unhappy with the players, not at all. I was frustrated with the fact that we couldn’t score, yes, but my players were very tired at the end and that’s what I love, I want them to be very tired. Means they give everything.”
Fellaini’s goal secured United’s place in the round of 16 of the Champions League with a game to spare. Mourinho was wary afterwards of predicting how far his stuttering team can go in the competition after Christmas, but the 55-year-old did not miss the chance to send a message to his detractors.
“Let me send a message to my lovers and say I play Champions League for 14 years and qualify 14 times,” he said. “And the year where I didn’t play Champions League I won the Europa League twice. So in 16 years, 14 times I qualify, just a little curiosity for my lovers and lovers of the stats.
“Realistically, to be in the last 16 in this group is an achievement, not a big one, not a fantastic one, but is an achievement.”