Manchester United caretaker manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has denied that distraction over an ongoing contract saga is to blame for David de Gea's costly mistake that allowed Granit Xhaka to open the scoring for Arsenal in Sunday's 2-0 defeat at the Emirates Stadium.

Xhaka's low effort from distance appeared to wrong-foot De Gea as it swerved, leaving the United goalkeeper unable to stop it from rippling the back of the net.


The Spain international is in the midst of negotiating a fresh long-term contract at Old Trafford, with his current deal due to expire in 2020 after recently being extended by 12 months. However no agreement has yet been reached, with all sorts of conflicting speculation over proposed wages.

"David is too professional to let his mind wander. The best players, they know how to focus," Solskjaer said, as quoted by the Evening Standard in the aftermath of Xhaka's goal.

In fact, the interim United boss didn't see it as an error on De Gea's part, putting responsibility on those in front of him who gave the Gunners' midfielder the time and space to shoot.


"I don't class it as a mistake. I'm stood right behind the ball. We don't put pressure on Xhaka. He must be Brazilian because the way he struck the ball and it swerves and moves in the air - it goes towards David's left and then changes direction completely," Solskjaer said.

"That's just one of those things," the Norwegian added.

De Gea is widely understood to be happy to stay with United, while it was recently reported that his options to leave would actually be very thin.


Long-term admirers Real Madrid finally pulled out of the market last summer when they signed Thibaut Courtois, while Juventus may struggle to put together an attractive package after handing big contracts to Cristiano Ronaldo and Aaron Ramsey. Meanwhile, De Gea is said to not be interested in Paris Saint-Germain over a lack of domestic competitiveness in France.