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News earlier this month of Real Madrid’s transfer ban was music to the ears of Manchester United fans around the world as it most likely meant that David De Gea’s potential switch to the Bernabeu would have to be put on hold for at least another season.
The transfer saga was one of the biggest stories of last summer and of all the major muted transfers, it seemed like a certainty that his switch from Old Trafford to the Spanish capital would ultimately be completed. De Gea wanted to go, Real Madrid wanted the player who they viewed and most probably still do as the long-term successor to the departed Iker Casillas.
United were always reluctant sellers but with the Spanish keeper keen to leave Manchester and not featuring in the opening weeks of the season, the completion of De Gea’s move to the Santiago Bernabeu seemed inevitable.
The failure to seal the deal in time is widely accepted to have been the fault of the Spanish club with the blame comically lying at the hands of a dodgy fax machine.
It was an embarrassing episode for all parties but when the transfer didn’t go through it seemed inevitable that Los Blancos would come back in this summer.
However news of their transfer ban, which Real are appealing, means they could have to wait one more season to get their man and that would still be dependent on De Gea still wanting to join the club and of course whether or not United are still prepared to sell him.
Despite the fact that David De Gea signed a new contract at Old Trafford just 11 days after the transfer fell through, the first point is likely to be much the same. David de Gea is a Madrid boy and has made no secret of his initial struggles to deal with life in the North-West of England.
He was unquestionably annoyed by Real Madrid’s failure to complete the deal last summer particularly after he had risked alienating himself from the United fans with his desire to make the switch effectively public knowledge.
However the lure of a return to the Spanish capital is likely to remain strong for both footballing and non-footballing reasons.
With Manchester United currently looking unlikely to even be in the Champions League next season he’ll probably still be keen for that move to happen sooner rather than later as he looks to establish himself as Spain’s number one, something that a move to Real Madrid can only benefit.
A more interesting question could be whether or not Manchester United would still be willing to deal with Real Madrid. With the new Premier League TV deal set to kick in, they are most likely to reclaim their position as the richest football club in the world over the next 12 months and with the player under a longer-term contract would be under less pressure to sell.
Therefore any transfer offer from Los Blancos would most likely have to dwarf the one they proposed last summer and it would certainly have to smash the world record transfer for a goalkeeper.
De Gea deserves great credit for retaining his composure and form on the pitch despite how the season started for him and he has only enhanced his reputation as one of the few fitting rivals to Manuel Neuer in terms of current goalkeepers.
Forcing through the switch
However if he is to get his supposed dream move then it may be up to him to force it through presuming Real Madrid do come back in for him at some point in the future, which still seems likely.
Manchester United would be within their rights to refuse any bid that comes in for him given De Gea is now under contract until the summer of 2019 and they may be wise to do just that given the quality he possesses and the lack of an obvious successor.
That would force De Gea to either hand in a transfer request and attempt to force the issue or respect his club’s decision and focus on life at Old Trafford.
One thing that is for sure is that nobody involved wants a repeat of the events of last summer that spilled into the early weeks of this season, least of all the player himself so if United are determined to hold their ground they could yet hold on to their best player for the foreseeable future.
Written by Mark Sochon
Follow Mark on Twitter @tikitakagol
Check out his brilliant blog on all things La Liga, Tiki-Taka-Gol!
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