According to ongoing reports Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea could be on his way to Real Madrid this summer.
The Mirror is the latest to run a story, claiming the Spanish side believe they have won the battle to sign the 24-year-old and will make an offer in the region of £15million to Louis van Gaal’s side.
The story goes on to claim United will reject that offer, in the hope of getting more for one of the best stoppers in Europe, but there is an alternative option for the club; one that could put to bed all the rumours in an instant.
If United want to keep De Gea next season, they can, as he has one year left on his current deal.
The possibility of losing him for a free 12 months down the line is the fear that is driving these stories, and of course every club would rather sell a player than see him leave shortly afterwards for nothing. But United still hold some of the cards, despite what the stories claim.
United are back in the Champions League next season and they will also be hoping to challenge for the Premier League title once more. To do that, De Gea will come in very handy, and the money van Gaal’s side will receive for domestic success and progression in Europe could far outweigh any fee they are likely to get for their ‘keeper this summer.
Van Gaal has so far come out to suggest that he does not know if his number one will still be at Old Trafford next season; but there was an alternative – to simply state he would not be sold.
Of course he wants the player to agree to a new long-term deal of his own accord and in his own time, but what harm would it have done to publicly declare that De Gea would be a key player for the club next season?
It would have put the rumours to bed, ensured United had an additional 12 months to find a replacement and given them far more chance of success both in England and abroad.
That is worth considerably more than whatever Real are likely to pay for a player with just a year left on his contract.