It’s alleged that of David De Gea’s desire to leave Manchester United for Real Madrid began a year ago, when Louis Van Gaal took the manager’s job.
ABC say Van Gaal didn’t trust De Gea and wanted to sign Keylor Navas as his No 1, before the Costa Rica international joined Real Madrid.
Van Gaal changed his mind as De Gea entered a series of impressive performances in the Dutchman’s first year on the Old Trafford bench, but the damage to their relationship was already done.
De Gea hired Jorge Mendes as his agent with the express intention of getting away from United, it’s claimed, either as a free agent next summer or this summer. Mendes, for his part, vowed to get De Gea to Santiago Bernabeu.
ABC say United have tried to muddy the waters of the De Gea transfer by bringing up Gareth Bale, Sergio Ramos, Karim Benzema and Navas.
Navas could move to United if De Gea leave, it’s suggested, and Madrid would be open to such an arrangement.
The player would be keen too as he doesn’t want to spend another year as a reserve, having deputised for Iker Casillas in 2014-15.
Madrid have lodged a final offer of €25m for De Gea and won’t go any higher, and nor will they consider signing a different player.
United are said to have come to the decision that the fee on offer is a good one for a player with less than a year left on his contract and who wants to leave, and Van Gaal and executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward are looking at alternatives.
Navas is one, while Jan Oblak is also mentioned, but the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper would cost the full €45m of his transfer release clause. If United did push for Oblak, Atletico would replace him with Olympiacos’ Roberto, ABC add.
Sergio Romero and Jasper Cillessen are also mentioned as possible replacements for De Gea.