Manchester United are prepared to sell David de Gea before Tuesday's transfer deadline, but only if Real Madrid instigate formal talks to sign the unsettled goalkeeper.
United travel to Swansea City this afternoon with De Gea once again absent from Louis van Gaal's squad due to the manager's decision to omit the 24-year-old from his plans until the transfer window closes at 6pm on Tuesday.
And although United have maintained their stance that only a world record offer of £35m will persuade them to sell De Gea, a bid from Real which is regarded as serious and reflective of the former Atletico Madrid 'keeper's progress since moving to Old Trafford in 2011 could open the door to a late deal being struck.
Despite Real's long standing interest in De Gea, United have not received a formal offer from the Spanish club for the player.
De Gea, meanwhile, has failed to push United into selling him by so far stopping short of submitting a transfer request.
With his contract due to expire next summer, De Gea has resisted United's attempts to tie him to a new long-term contract worth £200,000-a-week and senior figures at the club accept that he will leave on a free transfer next summer should Real fail to make a move during this window.
In De Gea's absence so far this season, however, the Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero has impressed for Van Gaal's team, conceding just one goal in five games ahead of the trip to the Liberty Stadium.
And although United will make a late move for Ajax goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen in the event of De Gea being sold, Romero's performances have underlined Van Gaal's belief that the club can survive without De Gea, who has been United's player of the season for the past two years.
United's attempts to sign Real defender Sergio Ramos in part exchange for De Gea failed, with the centre-half instead signing a new contract at the Bernabeu earlier this month.
But while United will not make the first move in order to end the de Gea saga with Real, the Spanish giants are unlikely to meet resistance from Old Trafford should they step up their interest over the final 48 hours of the transfer window.
Telegraph Media Group Limited 
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