David De Gea could be sold before window closes - Van Gaal
Louis van Gaal admitted that he did "not know" whether David De Gea would still be at Manchester United after the transfer window closed with the club now prepared to sell the goalkeeper should Real Madrid decide to instigate formal talks.
Although United have maintained their stance that only a world record offer of £35million will persuade them to sell De Gea, a bid from Real which is regarded as serious and reflective of the former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper's progress since moving to Old Trafford in 2011 could open the door to a late deal being struck.
Gary Neville, the former United defender, said: "They want to sort the goalkeeper situation out. That's a big problem. Manchester United need to sign a new striker, keep De Gea and now that (Jonny) Evans has gone ideally a centre-back, too, in the next few days."
Despite Real's long-standing interest, United have not received a formal offer from the club for De Gea, who by stopping short of submitting a transfer request has not pushed United into selling him.
Following the 2-1 defeat against Swansea City - during which stand-in keeper Sergio Romero was at fault for the home side's winning goal - Van Gaal appeared to softened his position a little.
"I don't know," he said when asked if De Gea would remain. "You can ask about all the players but you will have to wait and see until Manchester United make an announcement or the club where he is going to makes an announcement. We have to wait and see. I don't want to interfere.
Pressed on whether it is unsettling for the rest of the United squad not to know whether the club's player of the year for the past two seasons is staying, Van Gaal said: "We have coped with the situation by buying Romero. That is what we have done as a club to settle down that issue and I think we have done it well."
Despite Van Gaal's public faith in Romero, United are expected to make a late bid for the Ajax goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen in the event of De Gea being sold.
United goalkeeper Victor Valdes has seen his proposed transfer to Turkish side Besiktas collapse.