Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal fully expects David de Gea to sign a new contract and extend his stay at Old Trafford.
De Gea has been at United since the summer of 2011, when Sir Alex Ferguson raised a few eyebrows by paying Atletico Madrid £17.8million for the then-21-year-old. After struggling to adapt to life in England when he first arrived, the Spaniard has since developed into one of the best goalkeepers in Europe, and he has been linked with a return to Madrid albeit in the colours of Real.
With Iker Casillas past his best and Keylor Navas failing to convince, Los Blancos are widely expected to enter the market for a new number one at the end of the current campaign. By this time de Gea will be in the final year of his contract at Old Trafford, although the powers that be at the club are working hard to persuade him to sign a new deal to fend off interest from his homeland.
And speaking ahead of the visit of Southampton on Sunday, van Gaal said: “David de Gea has developed himself in the six months that I’ve been here very much. I’m very pleased with his development. I think there is no problem for (him) to sign. When you are a (regular) player, then probably you are the best, and then the manager is very happy that a player that is fixed in the line-up will stay.”
Even if de Gea signs a new contract with the Reds, the chances are Real will still make their move for his signature if they decide he is the man they want to become the long-term successor to Casillas. But from United’s point of view, tying the former Vicente Calderon favourite to a new deal will at least ensure they can demand a big fee for his signature, which could be a record for a goalkeeper.
Speculation over de Gea’s future increased a notch last week when United signed his compatriot, Victor Valdes, on an 18-month contract. The 32-year-old, who won six league titles and three UEFA Champions League’s with Barcelona, had been without a club since leaving the Camp Nou last term, and he is expected to provide cover and competition for the number one position.
Even if de Gea signs a new contract, will this deter Real Madrid from making a bid for him in the summer? Let us know your thoughts in the discussion below.