Wednesday 13 December 2017

Real to pursue Hugo Lloris if David De Gea stays at United

Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is on Real Madrid's radar
Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is on Real Madrid's radar

Mark Ogden

Real Madrid are considering the Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris and Inter Milan's Samir Handanovic as alternatives to David de Gea amid concerns that Man-chester United will reject all offers for the Spaniard this summer.

With the European champions, and their neighbours Atletico Madrid, facing the prospect of a 12-month Fifa-imposed transfer embargo - punishment for an alleged breach of rules governing the signings of foreign players under the age of 18 - efforts will be made this summer to recruit a long-term replacement for the Spain goalkeeper Iker Casillas before any potential restriction is imposed.

De Gea remains Real's first choice, but the threat of a transfer ban has led to Lloris and Handanovic emerging as targets should United hold firm on the 24-year-old, who continues to resist the club's attempts to secure him to a £200,000-a-week contract which would replace the final 12 months of his existing deal.

Fifa has refused to discuss the ongoing investigation into the allegations against Real and Atletico - both clubs strongly deny any wrongdoing - but reports in the Spanish media yesterday suggested that the Madrid rivals would receive the same sanction as applied to Barcelona in April 2014.

Barcelona appealed against the penalty of being banned from business for two consecutive transfer windows - imposed last April - at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but although the appeal was rejected, the club were able to sign the likes of Luis Suarez during the appeal process before eventually being prohibited from registering new players in this year's winter and summer windows.

Should Real suffer the same fate as Barcelona, the club would challenge any penalty and therefore be free to sign players this summer.

However, a failure to overturn a transfer embargo would merely see the sanction delayed and thereby force Real to sit out the 2016 winter and summer windows. Such an outcome would heighten the necessity to sign a new goalkeeper this summer, with Casillas displaying signs of frailty and Costa Rican Keylor Navas, regarded as no more than reliable cover.

Louis van Gaal claimed last week that De Gea had been offered "a lot of money" to pledge his future to the club, but that the contract offer remained unsigned. De Gea is understood to favour a return to his home city, where his pop-star girlfriend Edurne Garcia Almagro lives. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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