Why Man Utd must set new records in order to keep top Spaniard

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After one of the most eye-catching goalkeeping performances in recent Premier League seasons, when deftly defying Everton thrice last time out at Old Trafford, it’s no surprise to see Manchester United’s David De Gea linked with Real Madrid.

The 13-time Premier League champions are 8/13 to regain Champions League status this term having gone fourth after the 2-1 win over the Toffees, a result that wouldn’t have been achieved without De Gea’s top-notch display.

Since a nervy first campaign with the Red Devils three seasons ago, the former Atletico Madrid man has been by some margin United’s best performer and took the club’s player of the year award in 2013/14, after being named in the Premier League’s team of the season the previous term.

De Gea may already have supplanted Los Blancos’ current number one, Iker Casillas, in Spain’s first XI following La Seleccion’s latest round of Euro 2016 qualifiers, replacing the 33-year-old for the 4-0 win in Luxembourg after the defending champions’ shock 2-1 loss in Slovakia.

Clearly the Bernabeu high-ups have taken note, with president Florentino Perez thought to be planning a move for De Gea next summer.

No matter which way United look at it, this is not good news for the north-west giants.

Despite being among the highest paid goalkeeper’s in the world at around £50,000 a week, the man Real want De Gea to replace is reportedly on almost twice as much.

United have been somewhat remiss in letting De Gea’s contract run into a penultimate season, an oversight that has been attributed to the overhaul experienced at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure almost 18 months ago.

De Gea would be well within his rights to demand double his current salary when contract talks come around, and not just because he could expect as much back in the Spanish capital.

Paying teenager Luke Shaw over £100,000 per week, as has been reported and strongly alluded to by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, was an odd move by the Red Devils, who will have nobody but themselves to blame when faced with a revolving door of agents demanding better terms for their clients.

If Van Gaal and co want to keep De Gea, which – despite the varied eccentricities of the ‘Iron Tulip’ – seems certain, they’re looking at having to make him the highest paid goalkeeper in history.

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