The Spaniard has just had his best season yet with Manchester United, with several sources tipping him with moves away from Old Trafford earlier in the season.
Those rumours have started to grow again following Sir Alex Ferguson’s decision to retire but while De Gea has said he’s happy at Old Trafford, he doesn’t seem to see himself spending the rest of his career there.
“Hopefully in the future I can return, you never know. It has been and will always be my home,” he told AS.
United could find themselves in a very similar situation to when they had to deal with Cristiano Ronaldo’s future.
Ronaldo urged the club to let him join Real Madrid, with Sir Alex Ferguson granting him the move if he chose to stay and give United the 2008/2009 season before he left.
That would leave the relationship between all parties on a positive note with De Gea eventually getting what he wants and United keeping the service of a top European goalkeeper for a little longer.
Fortunately for De Gea time is on his side. At 22-years-old he’s under no pressure to start making immediate decision about his future and he could return to Atletico Madrid during the final part of his career.
That would allow United to benefit from the early and peaks years of his career without alienating the player.
The only way the relationship might go sour is if Atletico Madrid aggressively pursue trying to re-sign him and David Moyes rejects any plea to let him leave.
However, after a Premier League title and being named the league’s goalkeeper in the Team of the Year, it’s not the time for De Gea to make good on those claims to go back to Atletico Madrid in the future.
De Gea still has a point to prove to plenty of fans and journalists who have doubted his ability to perform consistently in the Premier League.
It’s doubtful that he would ask United for a move away while he still effectively had a point to prove.
He also needs to make himself a better option for Atletico Madrid than Thibaut Courtois who could stay with the club if Chelsea grant him another extended loan deal or permanent switch.
De Gea had a rocky start to last season but performed admirably as he transformed his performances over the last six months. If he can have a consistent entire season then he’ll have some very big clubs, as well as Atletico Madrid, taking a look at him.
How long do you think De Gea will last at United?
image: © James Boyes