Saturday 24 March 2018

Madrid prepare world record bid for Man United star De Gea

David de Gea could be on his out of Old Trafford
David de Gea could be on his out of Old Trafford

James Ducker

Real Madrid believe they can prise David De Gea away from Manchester United this summer, two years after their failed bid to sign the Spain goalkeeper.

The Spanish giants have rekindled their interest in De Gea and are prepared to fund a world record bid for a goalkeeper in an effort to land the Madrid-born 26-year-old.

United have insisted De Gea is not for sale and will rebuff Real's advances but they were prepared to bow to the goalkeeper's wish to move to the Bernabeu in 2015 before the deal collapsed on transfer deadline day, with both clubs blaming each other for the episode.

Jose Mourinho has stated this season that he will not stand in the way of players who want to leave Old Trafford, as was the case with Morgan Schneiderlin, Memphis Depay and Bastian Schweinsteiger, and it is thought the United manager is exploring other goalkeeping options in the event his hand is forced with De Gea.

Real would have to pay around £50m to stand any chance of signing De Gea, a sum that would obliterate the £33m world-record fee for a goalkeeper that Juventus paid Parma for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001.

On the subject of Real, Mourinho yesterday likened the challenge of restoring former glories at United to the one he faced at the Bernabeu in 2010, when he was asked to find a way of ending Barcelona's dominance.

Mourinho succeeded in winning the La Liga title in his second season with Real and hopes this campaign at Old Trafford will be "the first season of better years".

"I would say it's similar to the Real Madrid one because they were two giants in two difficult periods," Mourinho told Sky Sports. "You go to the giant club, you feel the dimension, you feel the pressure and expectation. But you also feel the club is not ready, not ready for this kind of expectation and you have to work more."

Meanwhile, Madrid will be without Gareth Bale for both legs of their Champions League semi-final against Atletico after tests revealed the Welsh star suffered a tear to his left calf during Sunday's Clasico.

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