David de Gea has played 366 appearances for Manchester United since joining in 2011

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident that it will be resolved – and Manchester United is calm – but the point at which David de Gea can shape his future is coming closer.

The failure to announce a new contract for the Spanish goalkeeper, with whom United has been negotiating for more than two years, is causing concern in supporting the club.

In these two years there have been some twists in the history of De Gea's future. It turned out he was determined to stay; in another he seemed determined to leave.

But in July, after United had submitted their last offer, the feeling of both the club and the player's camp was characterized by confidence. It was firmly believed that the negotiations would be concluded after the tour through Australia and Asia in the preseason.

Seven weeks after the return from United to Manchester, there is still no official confirmation of a contract. On January 1, De Gea, signed by Atletico Madrid in 2011 for £ 18.9m, can sign pre-contract terms with any club outside England.

"I'm pretty confident we'll fix that," said Solskjaer.

"David has never said anything to me other than that he loves the club, he had a fantastic time and wants to stay, so let's hope we get it over the line."

"One of the few world-class players available to Solskjaer"

Kepa Arrizabalaga has seven caps for Spain, while De Gea has 40 caps

De Geas value for Manchester United can be measured by his individual awards. The goalkeeper has been named Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year four times in four seasons between 2014 and 2018.

He may have lost his place in the Spanish team to Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga, but De Gea remains one of the few world-class players available to Solskjaer.

If the goalkeeper were to leave, any substitute would almost certainly be a regression, even if Solskjaer thinks he has adequate coverage. Currently, the manager has the Argentine international Sergio Romero as a second choice, Lee Grant as a third choice and the loaned English Under-21 goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

"I have two very good substitute careers here and Dean is at Sheffield United," said Solskjaer. "All in all, the goalie department is in good health."

"Man Utd finds it harder to win stars in their heyday"

De Gea has won seven major trophies at Manchester United

When De Gea arrived at Old Trafford, United had just won the Premier League and played in four seasons a third final in the Champions League. In Wembley, the team lost to Barcelona.

The slippage has been significant ever since.

After the failed terms of David Moyes, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho Solskjaer was brought to reunite the club with his glorious past.

Solskjaer still sees United as "the largest and best club in the world". There is, however, a clear gap between this view and reality.

On Saturday United receives a team from Leicester, who stands above them in the table. The visitors, led by Brendan Rodgers, are not the distraction of a European campaign and seem to be well positioned to challenge a top-4 spot.

Already, it is much more difficult for United to win star names than in the days of Sir Alex Ferguson. The loss of De Gea – against Paris St-Germain, Juventus or another club of similar size – would be another blow to their prestige.

Solskjaer is not ready to think about it for the time being.

When asked if it would be a statement to keep De Gea, the Norwegian said: "Yes, definitely.

"We've gotten used to having the best goalkeepers here: [Peter] Schmeichel, [Edwin] Van der Sar, De Gea. We want the best. We want to rebuild a winning team to challenge the biggest trophies. "