Real Madrid appear to have doubts that the signing of Manchester United’s David De Gea will go through, and are believed to be looking elsewhere for a new No. 1.
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According to Marca [via the Express] Real are concerned that they will be unable to meet the financial outlay required to bring the goalkeeper to the Bernabeu.
As such, they are considering other possibilities between the sticks, and are lining up a player for Bayer Leverkusen stopper Bernd Leno should the De Gea move fall through.
The Daily Mail report that United are holding out for £35 million for their Spain international, and would rather let him leave on a free transfer when his contract runs out next summer, rather than sell for a cut-price fee to Real this summer.
£35 million would be a world-record transfer for a goalkeeper—eclipsing the £32.6 million that Juventus shelled out for Parma’s Gianluigi Buffon 14 years ago.
The newspaper understand that Real are plotting an opening bid of a meagre £13 million for the world-class stopper, a fee that would surely not tempt United to sell one of their prized assets.
Indeed, with the two sides appearing to be worlds apart in their valuation of the player, De Gea’s long-anticipated move to the Spanish capital must be called into question [Sky Sports]—for this transfer window at least.
Leno would represent an able—if not quite as glittering—alternative for De Gea.
The 23-year-old has featured over 150 times for Bundesliga heavyweights Bayer Leverkusen and managed 34 appearances in the German top flight last term.
With Leno between the sticks, Leverkusen conceded only 37 goals—the third-best defensive record in the league.