With preparations for the 2017-18 season well under way, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has once again been linked with a move away from Old Trafford.
Spanish giants Real Madrid have been chasing his signature for the past two seasons after a series of scintillating performances over the years, which have caught the eye of renowned club president Florentino Perez.
Arguably United’s lifeline in several games under the management of ill-fated managers David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal, and more recently under current manager José Mourinho it comes as no surprise to see De Gea linked with the recently crowned European champions once more.
Real Madrid finished their 2016-17 campaign in style, following a first placed finish in La Liga under legendary midfielder turned manager Zinedine Zidane.
Success in the UEFA Champions League soon followed, meaning Madrid became the first club to retain the trophy since the competition’s inception in 1992.
Perez raves over him
Florentino Perez doesn’t see the club’s current number one Keylor Navas as the club’s long-term solution between the sticks, as he remains determined in his quest to make De Gea his latest ‘Galactico’ signing.
Perez regularly speaks of his admiration for the Spaniard, who is expected to follow in the footsteps of compatriot Iker Casillas in becoming number one for club and country.
A £60m bid was submitted by Madrid just weeks ago, a fee that dwarfs the amount paid by Everton for Jordan Pickford, who was signed from recently relegated club Sunderland for a figure of £30m. The bid was swiftly rejected by Manchester United, who will certainly play hardball when it comes to selling one of their star players.
The Spaniard is widely regarded as one of the world’s best goalkeepers, having progressed massively since his move to Manchester United from Atletico Madrid in 2011.
Close to a transfer not so long ago
Two summers ago, De Gea came within minutes of joining Madrid on transfer deadline day only for the swap deal involving Keylor Navas to fall through due to not submitting the relevant paperwork on time.
This led to his exclusion from the first team starting line-up by then United manager Louis Van Gaal for the beginning of the term as his head was not in the right place.
The Spanish international was eventually reintroduced into the team following the first few games of the season.
Much to the delight of United fans, United retained the services of the shot-stopper, who signed a new, improved deal in which his release clause increased considerably, in an attempt to ward off any interest from Real Madrid.
Settled for now
De Gea’s future as number one at Old Trafford appears to be settled for now, having seen rumours of an exit die out in the media.
Although with the summer transfer window a long way off closing it remains to be seen whether he will remain with the Red Devils beyond the summer, or if Madrid will return with an improved offer.
The Spanish international is currently on tour with United in the US on as part of their pre-season tour, and with the two clubs set to lock horns twice in the coming weeks, this could yet offer Madrid a chance to reignite their interest.
Real would simply need to cough up the big bucks
Back-up goalkeepers Sergio Romero and Joel Pereira recently signed new contracts with the Old Trafford club, with them both extending their stays by four years.
They are held in high regard by United boss Jose Mourinho, and this leaves United with a wealth of reliable options between the sticks.
Should De Gea make the move to the Bernabeu or otherwise this summer, he will certainly not come on the cheap. Real Madrid will most certainly have to pay a premium if they wish to get their man, offering United a sum they simply cannot refuse.
Written by Cristian Fry
Follow Cristian on Twitter @CristianF99
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