Real Madrid still interested in David De Gea; Manchester United strong in their position though

Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea will enter the final year of his contract this summer, although United inserted a clause which could see a further year added, keeping the Spanish number one until the summer of 2020. Ahead of the FIFA World Cup in Russia this summer, speculation linking the player to Real Madrid has once again surfaced, although there had been suggestions that Thibaut Courtois was a target for the UEFA Champions League holders.

It has been reported by the Manchester Evening News that Real Madrid believe that they can sign De Gea for £100 million this summer, although this is not something that has been proven to be a fact, so again it is mere speculation, nothing more right now. There has been some talk over the past few months in the media that United were putting together a new contract for the Spaniard, which is something that is still yet to materialise as if De Gea had signed a new contract, it would have been announced already.

Perhaps United are waiting until the player has finished in the World Cup this summer and had a holiday. His last renewal came on the 11th September 2015 after the failed move to Real Madrid earlier that summer. United, however, are adamant that they will not sell their prized asset, still with that extra year to be added onto his current contract, they are not in a situation whereby they need to sell the player in order to stop him leaving as a free agent anytime soon.

Most players who want to leave a club would agitate a move and it seems De Gea has never forced anything, even when he was leaving for Madrid in 2015. Real Madrid recruited Julen Lopetegui ahead of the new season, he was to start his new job after the World Cup this summer with some speculating that De Gea would spend a month with the Lopetegui on the basis that he could convince the player to join him in Madrid. That speculation ended earlier today though as Lopetegui was sacked as the Spain coach, two days before their first World Cup match, against Portugal.

De Gea has, in the last few days, spoke to Spanish media ahead of the World Cup and one thing that was up for discussion was the future of the Spanish number one. Speaking to El Partidazo de Cope, who asked the 27-year-old about Florentino Perez and Real Madrid, the United shot-stopper said:

“I don’t think Florentino Pérez has my number. I don’t know if I’ll be the goalkeeper at Real Madrid. What I do know is that I’m very happy in Manchester. What I want is to win titles, like every other player. There’s no lacking in winning titles there (United) – we have to improve. We are a big club, we are not here to take second place. We have to improve and make this club great.”

In January, it seemed that Real Madrid pursuit of De Gea could have been over after the club seemed certain to sign Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga. However, the player signed a new contract with his club leading to Madrid keeping Keylor Navas, who despite making some mistakes, has been a decent goalkeeper for the club. Real Madrid also had their eye on AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, who will become very expensive if a potential transfer is mooted this summer, which may seem likely with United’s stance on De Gea.

Heading into the summer though, United seem to be in a good position to keep De Gea as their number one for years to come. Jose Mourinho has already been asked about De Gea being sold to Real Madrid this summer, to which he replied; “no chance”. It shows that he has no intention to sell the player, which probably suggests that there is a contract offer coming sooner rather than later. With reports about a new contract for De Gea coming out in the media, there has got to have been negotiations between the club and the player’s representatives.

Nearly a decade ago, Real Madrid was the go-to place after Manchester United. David Beckham, Gabriel Heinze, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo all left United for Madrid. Now though, despite Manchester City’s dominance in the Premier League last season, United seem to have something about them. The playing style is not all that great but the players seem to have a newfound confidence about them after Mourinho replaced Louis van Gaal as the manager. They were shown that trophies could be collected by them again, despite winning nothing last season.

I have a feeling that Mourinho is building something at United, he signed a three-year contract initially, stated it could take three years to build something with the fallen club and we are not close to entering that third year. The style of play has not been great but in terms of results, especially against the top six sides in the Premier League, is where United have moved forward. Supporters are not pleased about the style, some are more vocal than others but many recognise that patience is a virtue that many need to adopt, especially in this day and age.

The modern-day football fan is obsessed with immediate success and that is not something that can or will happen all of the time. This generation seems to base everything on YouTube compilations, FIFA gameplay, and Football Manager, seemingly feeling that they have the experience needed to tell what a team should or should not be doing. One thing is certain, Mourinho has signed a contract extension, remaining as the manager for another two years, at a minimum. The club and the board seem to be behind him and so far this summer, he has made many changes.

De Gea’s future is something that seems to be based around United. If they want him, he will remain at the club. He has the fans behind him, something that will not be a guarantee in Madrid, as we have seen with every player they have, at times being whistled at and booed during matches, even Ronaldo has suffered this discontent from the supporters. When Keylor Navas makes a mistake, polls are set and fans are voting to get rid of him. If De Gea makes a mistake, after the honeymoon period, he will be subjected to that too.

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