Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Thursday afternoon that the Spaniard would not be returning to the starting XI for the game against last season FA Cup finalists, amid speculation that a move to Real Madrid could still happen before the end of the transfer window.
The Dutchman also revealed that De Gea told goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek that he didn’t want to be involved against Tottenham last week or against Villa on Friday night [via Guardian Sport].
However, sources close to the 24-year-old insist he has not refused to play for the first-team and claim it is van Gaal’s decision to not include the stopper in the squad for the opening games of the new season.
With De Gea set to sit out the visit to Villa Park, summer signing Sergio Romero is likely to be given the nod once again between the sticks and will be hoping for a second straight clean sheet after making his debut in the 1-0 victory over Spurs.
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