The United no.1 has been heavily linked with a return to Spain since the end of last season and the Santiago Bernabeu is the most likely destination for the 24-year-old, who has been in brilliant form in between the sticks over the last couple of years and is seen as the ideal replacement for Iker Casillas.
Following Casillas’ shock transfer to Portuguese giants Porto earlier in the summer [via BBC Sport] it appeared De Gea joining Los Blancos was a formality, however, United dug their heels in and insisted that Spanish defender Sergio Ramos had to be included in any potential deal [via Guardian Sport] and that appeared to have ended all negotiations between the two clubs.
However, fresh reports in the media [via Star Sport] suggest Madrid are still hoping to sign De Gea before the transfer window shuts in just under a month’s time following comments from Benitez during a pre-match press conference ahead of his side’s pre-season friendly against Serie A giants AC Milan.
“I already have a great team and I am happy with my players. I am focused only on preparing for this last game of the tour against Milan,” the former Liverpool boss revealed.
“When we get back to Madrid we will make a more in-depth study and evaluate the squad. Today, I’m only thinking about the group and this group is very good.”
“If I can improve the team, then I will try to do that. I am focused on trying to get the players to improve day by day,” Benitez added.
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Trying to convince United into selling De Gea could prove difficult even for a club like Madrid, who always seem to get their way in the transfer market. Supposedly, the Premier League club are reportedly willing to allow the ‘keeper to see out the final year of his contract and leave on a free next summer [via Mail Sport].
Should a move for De Gea to Madrid materialise then United boss Louis van Gaal has already brought in a suitable replacement in Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero [via Sky Sports] and the Dutchman could also further bolster his options in that department with the signing of Ajax stopper Jasper Cillessen [via Metro Sport].