The Spanish giants are considering their goalkeeping options, with two Premier League shot-stoppers reported to be in their thoughts.
De Gea is yet to agree terms on a new deal at Old Trafford and according to Spanish sports daily AS, Real Madrid are keen to force the issue, claiming that if he isn't prepared to make the move this summer, they're prepared to wait until the summer of 2016 and the possibility of catching the goalkeeper on a free transfer.
Points speculated when it comes to a move include Manchester United reaching the Champions League this season, which might diminish any desire for De Gea to leave his current club, while Real Madrid are likewise reluctant to pay the full estimated valuation of €68 million.
One key factor they also suggest the decision of De Gea hangs on is his reluctance to make the move to Real Madrid if current captain and first choice Iker Casillas remains at the club. This, it is believed, will be the most decisive aspect.
While content to challenge and share the number one berth with Casillas for his international team, AS claims De Gea is apparently unwilling to do the same at Real Madrid, when he's the guaranteed first choice with Manchester United.
With doubts about whether Casillas wants to stay beyond the end of the current campaign and uncertainty over if, or when, Real Madrid can complete a move for De Gea, the suggestion from AS is that another goalkeeper may enter the equation, at least as a stop-gap option between the posts until 2016.
They highlight that given Petr Cech is currently unsettled at Chelsea, unhappy at playing second fiddle to Belgian keeper Thibaut Courtois, the 32-year-old Czech international could head to the Bernabeu and at the specific request of manager, and former Blues boss, Carlo Ancelotti.
All this of course hinges on the final decisions of the two key protagonists - De Gea at Manchester United, and Casillas at Real Madrid - regarding what decisions they make at the end of this season. Either way, it still looks a certainty that Cech will be leaving Stamford Bridge.
Speculation will keep mounting, with all sorts of possibilities up for debate, not least the chance that if Casillas leaves Real Madrid, he might then consider heading to either Chelsea or Manchester United.