David De Gea offered "a lot of money" to stay at Manchester United
Louis van Gaal desperate to keep his man at Old Trafford
Louis van Gaal says Manchester United have offered David de Gea "a lot of money" in a bid to keep the goalkeeper at Old Trafford. De Gea is in the running to win the PFA Player of the Year award following a string of fine performances for United.
Real Madrid's interest in De Gea has strengthened because of those displays and a transfer to the European champions would have its merits for the player, particularly when his girlfriend Edurne Garcia resides in the Spanish capital.
In January Van Gaal said he expected the 24-year-old to extend his current deal, which expires at the end of next season, but three months on, there are no signs of progress.
That is not due to a lack of willing on United's part. They have offered the Spaniard a bumper new deal as they are desperate for him to stay, Van Gaal has revealed.
"It takes a long time now," the United boss said when asked how negotiations with De Gea were progressing.
"It can always happen. I am not the boss. I want him to stay. The player is the boss he can say 'yes' or 'no'.
"You will have to ask David de Gea (if he is staying), not me. He has to sign.
"We have offered him a lot of money."
Although Van Gaal wants the former Atletico Madrid man to remain, he at least knows he has a tailor-made replacement ready in three-time Champions League winner Victor Valdes, who has not played for United since signing on a free transfer in January.
United's scouts have been scouring the globe for new additions in other positions, but Van Gaal was keeping quiet about progress on other deals at his press conference on Friday.
When asked whether PSV Eindhoven forward Memphis Depay had flown in for talks - as had been reported in Holland - Van Gaal gave little away.
''I don't discuss it with the media,'' Van Gaal said of the Eredivisie top scorer, who was a regular for Holland under the United manager.
''I have a lot of relationships with players. I cannot buy all the players I've coached already.''
United head to Everton on Sunday. The last time they visited Goodison Park, the result proved costly for Van Gaal's predecessor David Moyes, who was sacked two days later with the club languishing in seventh place.
One of the big mistakes of Moyes' reign was his initial reluctance to spend a bumper transfer kitty that was available to him after he was appointed.
Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas and Gareth Bale all slipped through the net in the summer of 2013 and the Scot was left to settle for the sole addition of Marouane Fellaini.
Van Gaal was much quicker off the mark last summer, signing Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera a month after agreeing to become United manager.
He still had to wait until near the end of the transfer window to sign Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao though and he concedes it may be the same case again this summer.
"It's dependable on the market," he said. "It's not so easy as you think.
"Okay, Manchester United is coming and can buy a player. It's not like that.
"Of course it's an advantage (to start early) but it's also dependable on the market, which players are free, which players want the clubs in the world to sell. It's not so easy and I don't want to buy every player.
"It has to fit in the profile of the positions in my philosophy.
"At the end the player has to decide and not the manager and not the manager of the selling club."
Sunday will be the first time Fellaini has returned to Goodison since his £27.5million move to United.
Van Gaal has talked to the Belgian, mindful that he has been accused in the past of having a short fuse.
"I have spoken with Fellaini because I know this,'' the United boss said.
''Fellaini is always dry in his answers. He said 'it's a game'.
''(I said) 'Yes, but it's a special game for you'.
''I hope the fans shall receive him like the Chelsea fans received Juan Mata because I like that very much. I hope it's like that.''
Van Gaal added later: "I am not worried about Fellaini's behaviour.
"Up to now he is composed."