The Red Devils flew out to Belgium for the second leg of their Champions League qualifier on Tuesday, and the 24-year-old was not with the group. It is not a huge surprise that the Spain international hasn’t flown, with Sergio Romero playing between the sticks in United’s first three games of the season.
However, manager Louis van Gaal had recently insisted that the former Atletico Madrid man is going to stay at Old Trafford [Sky Sports]. Which makes it slightly more unusual that he is being left out due to being unable to ‘focus only on the match’ with his future in the balance [BBC].
“I think when Manchester United wants a player he shall come, besides when a club is not selling,” van Gaal asserted.
“It is the same with us. We are not selling De Gea.”
United are running out of options should De Gea leave the club, with Jasper Cillessen recently claiming that he will complete at least the current season with Ajax [NOS via Daily Mirror]. Also, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has ruled out Spurs captain Hugo Lloris leaving to replace the Spanish stopper [Daily Express].
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With van Gaal having fallen out with former back up ‘keeper Victor Valdes over a refusal to adhere to his philosophy [Goal], they dearly need to hang on to De Gea. If they don’t, then the team could be forced to rely on Romero in goal.
The Argentina international has played just 20 club games in the last two seasons, having been second choice at both Sampdoria and AS Monaco, although he has made a promising start to life at United.