Louis van Gaal has conceded that Manchester United may be powerless to keep David de Gea from Real Madrid’s clutches this summer.
Reports at the tail end of last week claimed the goalkeeper had agreed terms on a summer move to the Santiago Bernabeu, while he appeared to bid farewell to the United supporters as he left Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal on the 74th minute with a hamstring injury.
“It is not easy to choose between two great clubs. We would be very happy if he stays,” the manager was quoted as saying by BBC Sport after the game.
“He is Spanish and his girlfriend is Spanish and he can go to another great club, so it is difficult for him to decide.
“David de Gea shall not leave us so easily because we are a great club and he wants to participate.
“He is still behind Casillas but now a Spanish club is coming. He knows everything that he has at Manchester United at this moment.
“I don't have to say anything for the benefit of Manchester United because he can feel everything.
“The crowd has been unbelievable. You have seen that reaction here. It has been unbelievable, for the team and for him individually.
“When he is going he is losing that because here he has a lot of credits.”
Former Barcelona No 1 Victor Valdes replaced De Gea for his United debut but did not know his fellow Spaniard’s intentions, despite acknowledging Madrid as one of “the biggest clubs in the world”.
“Madrid, Barcelona, and Manchester United are three of the biggest clubs in the world,” the Daily Mail have him on record as saying.
“Everyone in the world wants to play for these clubs. It's a question you would have to put to David. I cannot answer for him. I don't know [if he’s leaving].”