Manchester United are facing having to pay David de Gea £30m this summer to prevent the Spaniard from running his contract down.
The Spaniard is set to enter the final year of his current deal at Old Trafford and, with no clear suggestions as yet that the goalkeeper will sign fresh terms, there remains a clear risk that De Gea could leave the club for nothing at the end of next season.
That scenario would leave the 28-year-old with the choice of his next move, and there are subsequent fears at United that they could lose their star man without receiving a fee. According to The Sun, De Gea could use his position to a hugely lucrative advantage.
The Spaniard is aware that he could draw a huge salary and signing-on fee as a free agent in just a year's time, and is therefore apparently prepared to stand his ground over a potential departure this summer.
United are currently demanding £75m for De Gea - a figure which is currently deterring interest from Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus - and the Red Devils' valuation could drop to around £60m if their current valuation is not matched by any interested parties.
However, even a £60m deal may not be enough for United to persuade De Gea to budge, and could be forced to offer the goalkeeper up to half of any such fee they receive to match the fortune that he could earn as a free agent.
As such, United could be left with little choice but to make such a 'golden handshake' to avoid losing the Spaniard for free further down the line.
De Gea's importance to the Red Devils is reflected by having won the club's player of the year award on four occasions since arriving from Atletico Madrid in 2011, though his form suffered a significant dip last season as uncertainty over his future at Old Trafford increased.
The Spanish international was guilty of a number of high-profile mistakes in multiple games last term, and a move away from United this summer could be a suitable solution for both parties.