Saturday 21 April 2018

David de Gea set to stay at Manchester United as Real Madrid president plays down move

David de Gea
David de Gea

Jack de Menezes

Real Madrid’s hopes of signing David De Gea this summer appear to be diminishing by the day after the club’s president admitted it will be difficult to complete the move for the Manchester United goalkeeper, which fell apart on transfer deadline day last summer.

Real saw their attempt to sign De Gea collapse after a paperwork delay, with De Gea going on to sign a new long-term contract with United during the season. The future of the 25-year-old goalkeeper looked to be uncertain as the transfer window approached, but the dismissal of Louis van Gaal as manager and appointment of Jose Mourinho appears to have swayed De Gea’s mind into staying at Old Trafford.

Florentino Perez, the Real president, has admitted that the arrival of Mourinho as manager, combined with the form of current Real first-choice goalkeeper Keylor Navas, would make the move difficult to complete, even though Real have the allure of winning the Champions League in two of the past three seasons.

Speaking to reporters in Spain, Perez said: “I am not the one who has to decide. I would say it is very difficult to manage two great players in that position.”

After allowing club legend Iker Casillas to leave the Santiago Bernabeu last summer in his move to Porto, Real failed to bring in a big name to replace the Spain goalkeeper – Kiko Casilla returned to the club on a free transfer to provide cover for Navas.

However, one complication that could lead to real resuming their interest in De Gea is the injury suffered by Navas, with the Costa Rica goalkeeper ruled out of the Copa America this summer. Navas has struggled with a chronic tendinitis injury for the past year, and despite playing throughout the season for Real in their Champions League-winning campaign, the decision has been taken to try and address the issue due to a fear that it could worsen if left untouched.

"It is the same injury that Navas has been coping with for the last year and which has not responded to a number of treatments that he has undergone," the Costa Rican football federation said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Real Madrid will determine the treatment for this case so it can be solved definitively.

"Doctors consider that if it is not treated promptly, the player could suffer a complication in his Achilles tendon."

With Navas’s injury failing to respond to treatment, any further setback could lead to Real launching a sustained pursuit of De Gea, though United would be able to command well above his asking fee if Real get desperate to replace Navas.

Independent News Service

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