The summer has arrived, and once again the English Premier League season draws to a close. That can only mean one thing, time for departures and arrivals from across the footballing world as the transfer window opens, giving teams the chance to offload unwanted players, and acquire new ones to bolster their squads for the start of the new season in August. Despite not officially opening until the 1st July, many teams have already begun their transfer negotiations, including Everton with their £30m capture of England international goalkeeper Jordan Pickford from Sunderland. A remarkably high figure for a player of such a young age, albeit with bags of potential.
With transfer records being broken season after season, the transfer rumour mill is now in full force, and it is common for clubs like Manchester United to be constantly linked with just about every player under the sun, only for the vast majority of rumours to be nothing more than just plain old gossip (cue if it’s not on Sky Sports, it isn’t true). Conversely, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has been consistently linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid, who have been chasing his signature for the past two seasons after a series of scintillating performances over the years, and it would not be surprising to see him as Spain’s first-choice goalkeeper for many years to come, following in the footsteps of legendary Real Madrid and Spain keeper Casillas. Arguably United’s lifeline in several games under the management of ill-fated managers David Moyes and Louis Van Gaal, and more recently under current manager José Mourinho it comes as no surprise to see De Gea linked with the European champions once more.
Real Madrid, who have recently become the first club to retain the Champions League trophy since its inception in 1992, along with domestic success in finishing first in La Liga under legendary midfielder turned manager Zinedine Zidane, remain highly interested in making De Gea their new number one, and club President Florentino Perez remains determined in his quest to make De Gea his latest ‘Galactico’ signing, replacing Costa Rican international Keylor Navas, whom Perez doesn’t see as the club’s long-term solution between the sticks. A £60m bid was submitted just weeks ago, a fee that dwarfs the amount paid by Everton for Jordan Pickford, but this was swiftly rejected by Manchester United who will certainly play hardball when it comes to selling one of their star players, who is seen by many as one of the world’s best goalkeepers, having progressed leaps and bounds since his move to Manchester United from Athletico Madrid in 2011. Two summers ago, De Gea came within minutes of joining the club on transfer deadline day only for the swap deal involving Navas to fall through due to a ‘faulty fax machine’. This led to his exclusion from the first team starting line-up by then United manager Louis Van Gaal for the beginning of the term as his head was not in the right place, but was then reintroduced into the team after the first few games of the season, replacing summer signing Sergio Romero, and his magnificent performances returned.
With the transfer window yet to open, let alone close, it remains to be seen whether De Gea will still call Old Trafford home by the start of the season. However, with a question mark over the future of former United star Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently stated his intention to leave Real Madrid this summer (a return to United on the cards perhaps?), coupled with United’s pursuit of a successor to the recently released Zlatan Ibrahimovic in Madrid forward Alvaro Morata, could De Gea be used as a bargaining chip for both parties to come to some kind of player plus cash agreement? Either way, if De Gea were to leave in some capacity he will certainly not come on the cheap, Real Madrid will most certainly have to pay a premium if they wish to get their man.