Real Madrid have launched ‘Operation De Gea’ to get the goalkeeper with the safest hands in the Premier League, according to reports in Spain. So, will this be the summer the Spanish giants finally sign the shot-stopper they’ve targeted for three years?
De Gea to Madrid is one of those transfer stories that emerges at the end of every season, like Karim Benzema to Arsenal.
Spanish publication Marca – seen as Real Madrid’s mouthpiece – used their front page on Friday to say that De Gea has told United he wants to go. They went as far as to say that the Madrid-born goalkeeper had requested the move personally to his bosses, including Jose Mourinho.
The asking price is apparently £60million and terms are said to have been agreed for the experienced Premier League player who is still only 26, according to Marca.
Their report coincided with rumours that he has put his £3.85m mansion in Manchester up for sale, which will not have helped ease the minds of United fans either.
Insiders, though, think De Gea is relaxed about it rather than itching to leave. The same cannot be said for those at the Bernabeu, however.
It is two years since Madrid failed in an 11th hour attempt on August 31, 2015 to sign De Gea due to fax machine issues. The interest is there but so is a contract with United that runs until 2019.
It is nevertheless a concern for the club, who do not want to lose their superstar between the sticks or have him unsettled.
De Gea has won their Player of the Year award for three years running and, for the fourth time in the past five seasons, was named in the PFA’s Premier League Team of the Year.
His role this season has been reduced, however.
Mourinho has sorted out the club’s defence, who have only conceded 24 goals this season. It is the second best in the Premier League and means De Gea has had less to do.
Out of Europe’s top five divisions, De Gea ranks second for fewest shots on target faced, having made 89 saves.
When he is called upon, however, the Spaniard is world class.