The Independent revealed this week that Real are growing increasingly confident that they will land long-term transfer target De Gea in the summer, with United already on the lookout for a replacement after heavily scouting the options in Italy’s Serie A.
Real nearly signed the Spanish goalkeeper in 2015 after United sanctioned a move on deadline day, only for the agreement to collapse after a delay in completing paper work led to the cut-off coming too soon for the deal to go through, and De Gea went on to agree a new long-term contract that, according to the Daily Mail, does not include a release clause as was originally reported.
The La Liga side expressed a belief that De Gea had insisted on the new deal including a release clause that would help smooth over any attempt by Real to renew their interest.
Having let the 2016 transfer window pass without attempting to sign De Gea, Real now look ready to move for the 26-year-old – but will be told to cough up £66m to make him the world’s most expensive goalkeeper.
De Gea has another two years remaining on his deal once he reaches the end of the season, giving United flexibility in negotiations, but his departure is likely to help fund Jose Mourinho’s summer plans as he looks to rebuild the squad he inherited from Louis van Gaal last year.
Mourinho made four major signings last summer in adding Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Eric Bailly and world record signing Paul Pogba, and the spending is set to continue this year with a shortlist including the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Jose Gimenez of Atletico Madrid and Monaco pair Tiemoue Bakayoko and Kylian Mbappe.