David De Gea latest: Manchester United and Real Madrid can't agree fee for in-limbo goalkeeper, reveals Louis van Gaal

Sam Johnstone set to start in goal against Tottenham

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The Independent Football

After David De Gea was told there is no place for him until his future is settled, Manchester United face starting the season with  22-year-old Sam Johnstone in goal against Tottenham this afternoon.

Johnstone is United’s third-choice goalkeeper and had been due to return to Preston, where he spent the second half of last season on a highly successful loan spell. However, with De Gea informed by his manager, Louis van Gaal, that he cannot play while he is the subject of negotiations with Real Madrid, Johnstone was recalled.

Van Gaal insisted that he wanted De Gea to stay but suggested the only thing keeping him from the Bernabeu was that Real and United could not agree on a price.

“We have seen in training he is not the De Gea of last year. He tries, he does his utmost, but it is a difficult situation,” he said. “He is the best goalkeeper we have had in the last three years. In two of those three years he was nominated by the fans as the best player at the club. Do you think the trainer-coach wants him to leave?

“We are asking money and they have to pay money. In the last few years Manchester United have paid out a lot and we haven’t received a lot of money [for our players].”


Van Gaal added that he disliked that the season begins with the transfer window still open. He said: “I am the victim, the fellow players are the victim, the club is the victim and that is why the transfer period needs to change.”

Although Van Gaal has signed Argentina’s Sergio Romero from Sampdoria, he has not played since the Copa America final a month ago.

Johnstone, however, played four times on United’s summer tour of America, which began with Van Gaal announcing that Victor Valdes had no future at the club.

Johnstone has never played higher than League One, but was part of the side that won the FA Youth Cup four years ago and in May helped Preston win promotion with a 4-0 play-off victory against Swindon.