Real Madrid’s season is threatening to implode to unrecoverable levels. Zinedine Zidane is under intense pressure after their midweek Copa del Rey chastening defeat on away goals against relative minnows Leganes. They are straining their necks looking up at Barcelona leading the pack, their fans reportedly happy to consign club legend Cristiano Ronaldo unceremoniously to the scrap heap and the famed BBC are being read their last rights.
To compound matters, their quest for a new goalkeeper suffered another setback as Bilbao stopper Kepa Arrizabalaga was not keen on waiting on Madrid’s sit in til the summer approach.
So should Manchester United fear another saga involving their world-class goalkeeper David de Gea?
It is well documented that a faulty fax machine was all that stood between De Gea departing Manchester for Madrid in 2015. United have rightfully counted their blessings since that near miss and De Gea subsequently put pen to paper on a new deal.
That deal is due to expire next summer, though United hold the option for a further year’s extension. Seemingly, this summer will be one of upheaval at the Santiago Bernabeu, with sorting a leaky defence very much on their agenda. The links are bound to rear their head once more, with Thibaut Courtois of Chelsea likely to figure prominently on their shopping list.
It is one thing United sanctioning the sale of De Gea, but another altogether whether De Gea would see Madrid has the place to play his peak years of his career. Of course, his partner resides in his homeland, likewise Courtois’, which would be a natural pull irrespective of the football.
De Gea has seen the increased scrutiny in the Spanish capital and it does not discriminate. Ask Cristiano, who should be untouchable and immortalised. Keylor Navas, who was the sweetener in that De Gea deal of 2015, has been pelted with bile during his time at the Bernabeu.
De Gea has recently heaped lavish praise on everything United, how it’s an honour to wear the badge, feel loved by the fans and winning on the pitch. He has come through major hardships at the beginning of his United career and become the keeper Sir Alex Ferguson and Eric Steele predicted he would be- on a par, if not better than Manuel Neuer.
De Gea has been made in Manchester and I do not buy the premise that a move to Real Madrid, being of Atletico blood, would be realising a dream, as has been speculated.
Would it be for the betterment of his career to seek pastures new now, as Mourinho has committed himself and new blood continues to strengthen United to as strong as they ever looked since the man who brought him to Old Trafford moved upstairs? I have my reservations.
Real Madrid are a club in crisis, riddled with uncertainty and catastrophic results. United have always fought tooth and nail to keep De Gea, even in 2015 it was in the dying embers of the window following staunch resistance.
I recognise the difficulties a club must face when a Spanish player has Real Madrid interested in their services. The unwritten law has invariably been that they always get their man.
United perhaps have never been in a better position to keep De Gea. They arguably hold the position of power in this deal.
It is vital he remains a red.