In what is building up as the defining transfer saga of the summer, Manchester United and Real Madrid , arguably two of the biggest clubs in the world, are involved in a game of transfer-tug-of-war , waiting to see who blinks first.
It all started with United goalkeeper David De Gea’s desire to return to his hometown , something which seems inevitable given that he has just a single year to run on his current deal and will have his pick of any club come next summer. Real, for their part, have reciprocated De Gea’s interest and are willing to sign him as a long term replacement for the fading power that is the club captain and Los Blancos legend Iker Casillas.
De Gea has already rejected a bumper £200,000 per week offer from the Red Devils to extend his contract in favour of a move to the Santiago Bernabeu. His importance to the Manchester United cause can be gauged by the simple fact that he has been the club’s player of the season for the last two years. The club have now seemingly ceded defeat in their efforts to tie him down to a new deal. But it leaves them in a bit of dilemma – whether to keep the player for another season considering how integral he is to the team and losing him for free next summer, or to cash in on him while they still can.
They had earlier decided to play hard ball with Real for his signature and demanded a fee worth €50 million , which would have made the 24-year-old the most expensive goalkeeper ever. However, the landscape has vastly changed since news broke out of Sergio Ramos’ discontent at the Los Blancos and his desire for a switch to the Premier League.
Van Gaal has made no secret of his desire to sign a world class defender this summer, and there aren’t many better in the world than the 29-year-old Spaniard. Having seen an initial bid of €40 million turned down for the player by Madrid, United are now willing to entice Madrid into negotiations by lowering their asking price for De Gea.
Reports on Goal have claimed that United are prepared to lower their quoted price to €35.2 million, but if and only if Madrid include the want-away defender into any deal. The Red Devils are hoping that this offer might tempt Madrid into selling the defender who has made 445 appearances for the club since joining from Sevilla a decade ago.
The Old Trafford outfit have identified several potential replacements for their departing goalkeeper, including Galatasaray’s Fernando Muslera and Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris. However, any exit for De Gea will reportedly be sanctioned only if Sergio Ramos goes the other way round.
The transfer window brings out a sense of deja vu in the calmest of fan bases and the two set of fans will be eagerly awaiting any further news on these developments as any wrong decision by either clubs can cost them dearly in the near future. However, if either get it right, it equally has the potential to kickstart a cycle of success.