Jose Mourinho has dismissed the continued speculation linking David de Gea with a move to Real Madrid by revealing he expects the goalkeeper to stay at Manchester United.
The Spanish international was close to sealing a move to Los Blancos in the summer of 2015, only for a failed fax machine resulting in the paperwork not being submitted on time on deadline day. He has since gone on to make another 94 appearances in all competitions for the Reds, taking his total to 369 since making a £17.8million move from Atletico Madrid in 2011.
Following his collapsed move to the Bernabeu De Gea signed a new contract, which is designed to keep him at Old Trafford until the summer of 2019 with an option to extend this by a further 12 months. But he continues to be linked with a move to Real, and there is a growing feeling amongst United’s support that there is little to stop the 26-year-old returning to Spain ahead of next season.
Indeed, De Gea may well have played his last game for the Reds, as young Joel Castro Pereira will play against Crystal Palace in the final Premier League game of the season and Sergio Romero will keep goal against Ajax in the UEFA Europa League final. But Mourinho certainly doesn’t subscribe to this theory, instead revealing he expects his current number one to remain in Manchester.
When asked when De Gea would next play for United, Mourinho told Sky Sports: “I think the first match in pre-season against Los Angeles. I hope to play Joel against Crystal Palace. I hope to play Sergio Romero in the final. Hopefully we don’t have problems with these two keepers. But David is top in the world and obviously we want to keep the top in the world.”
Ultimately, the final decision on his future could rest with De Gea. Although he is under contract, if he asks to leave so he can return to the Spanish capital United will unlikely stand in his way if Real make a sizeable bid for his signature. And reports in Spain claim the UEFA Champions League holders and finalists are prepared to pay at least £60million for the goalkeeper.