Wednesday 21 March 2018

David De Gea to Real Madrid: Spanish club resume £28m pursuit after fending Manchester United off Sergio Ramos

David de Gea and Luis Suarez
David de Gea and Luis Suarez

Jack de Menezes

With Manchester United's hopes of signing Sergio Ramos appearing to be dead in the water, Real Madrid have turned their attentions back to the pursuit of goalkeeper David De Gea.

The United goalkeeper only has a year left on his contract and has bee Real’s top target this summer, but the Premier League club have remained firm in holding out for their £28m asking price. United launched an attempt to land Ramos either as part of the deal or in a separate move after the Spain international decided his future lay away from the Santiago Bernabeu.

However, the defender’s U-turn not only annoyed officials at Old Trafford who believed that Ramos would force through a move, but also led to Real opening contract negotiations and means that they can turn their full attention to resuming the pursuit of De Gea.

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Sergio Ramos will not be moving to Manchester United
Sergio Ramos will not be moving to Manchester United

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United understand that they cannot keep the Spanish No 1 at Old Trafford against his will given that they risk losing him next season for nothing, and according to Spanish newspaper AS Real will renew their efforts to land De Gea this summer.

With United no longer able to include Ramos as part of the deal, Real hope that a cash-only fee will convince Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward, United’s manager and executive vice-chairman respectively, to part ways with De Gea and allow him to secure a move back to his homeland.

Fellow Spanish outlet Marca revealed that De Gea’s agent, Jorge Mendes, has travelled to China to negotiate a move that could be secured in the coming weeks. United have already moved to secure Argentina’s international goalkeeper Sergio Romero on a free transfer after he left Sampdoria at the end of last season, and while he appeared to be a replacement for Victor Valdes who is set to be sold, he could yet prove to be De Gea’s successor as first choice at the club.

Real have also signed a goalkeeper this summer in former Espanyol stopper Kiko Casilla, given that club legend Iker Casillas was sold to FC Porto, but Keylor Navas remains the first choice under Rafa Benitez for the time being.

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