When Real Madrid come knocking resistance usually proves futile. But having stuck to their guns over goalkeeper David De Gea, there has been the most positive sign yet Manchester United could at least defer the move for another season.
Speaking in the wake of Real’s 4-1 friendly victory over Manchester City in Australia, new manager Rafael Benitez hinted he was satisfied to give Costa Rican keeper Keylor Navas his chance to hold down the number one jersey vacated by Iker Casillas.
When quizzed by reporters over whether Navas displayed the qualities to start regularly for his side Benitez said: “I think so, yes, we wanted to give him the chance to play and prove himself and he has done well.”
Rafa later added: “I only need one goalkeeper on each match, and as long as I have one, I’m happy.”
While these comments are certainly not conclusive proof Madrid’s pursuit of De Gea will come to an end, they can still be construed positively by United fans desperate to see their two-time Player of the Season stay.
The Red Devils’ own interest in bringing Real captain Sergio Ramos to Old Trafford if any deal was to be done, might yet be the masterstroke in keeping hold of De Gea.
With the Spanish club adamant they wish the centre-half to remain at the Bernabeu, a stalemate situation has now ensued.
As a Madrid native, De Gea is known to want the move to happen, but even if that means letting their number one leave at the end of his contract for free in 12 months time, the success he could bring on the pitch before then may just offset the financial blow.
Louis van Gaal has made some big outfield signings already this summer for the 11/2 title shots, but if he can hold onto De Gea that would eclipse all of them.
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