Manchester United should not entertain the thought of allowing David de Gea to leave Old Trafford, even for a second.
That is the opinion of former Old Trafford favourite Phil Neville, who has described the 24-year-old stopper as one of the best players in the world.
The Spaniard has just a year left on his contract and while United manager Louis van Gaal has entered talks on extending his stay beyond his current deal, talk is rife that the stopper could be used as a makeweight to sign real Madrid star Gareth Bale.
In an exclusive interview with Ladbrokes News, Neville said that while the arrival of Bale would probably hand United their first title in the post-Ferguson era his arrival should not come at the cost of seeing De Gea depart.
Speaking at about Van Gaal’s transfer plans, Neville said it “would be absolutely sensational” if both players were at the club for the start of the new season but that holding on to De Gea is the first priority.
“In terms of David de Gea I think the thing he’s waiting for is to see if United qualify for the Champions League.,” he said.
“It s a big deal for footballers nowadays, it certainly is for players at United who want to play at the top level. So for David, who is one of the best keepers in world football at the moment, playing Champions League football is key to him and if United can qualify for the Champion League I think you’ll see De Gea stay at Old Trafford.”
The former Red Devil explained that with current Real Madrid stopper Iker Casillas now in the twilight of his career it is only natural that the Bernabeu club will start firing admiring glances in De Gea’s direction.
“There is always the worry with Spanish players that eventually they will want to play for Real or Barca,” he explained.
“Casillas isn’t get any younger and is maybe in his final season at Madrid and you know they’ll be looking for a new keeper but United need to do everything in their power to keep the best young keeper – along with Thibaut Courtois – in the world.”
United are now as short as 2/11 to finish in the top four following their 2-1 win over Liverpool and should those odds prove an accurate depiction Neville’s wish to see both Bale and De Gea playing together at Old Trafford could just become a reality.
Phil Neville was speaking at the re-launch of football prediction platform Predikta, a football prediction game that connects you with your mates, colleagues and even ex-players.
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