David De Gea transfer: Manchester United insist goalkeeper does not need an olive branch after failed Real Madrid move

Sources at Old Trafford say it is not necessary for manager Van Gaal to fly out to Madrid to speak with the player

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Manchester United insist it is not necessary for manager Louis van Gaal to undertake a trip to Madrid to repair his relationship with David De Gea, after the collapse of the goalkeeper’s proposed transfer shattered the 24-year-old’s hopes of a move back to his home city.

As midfielder Ander Herrera insisted that his compatriot De Gea was too good a professional not to reintegrate rapidly at Old Trafford, sources at the top of United rejected the suggestion that a trip was required similar to the one Sir Alex Ferguson made to Lisbon in 2008 when he  persuaded Cristiano Ronaldo to delay a move to Real Madrid for one more year.

De Gea was deeply unhappy to have been dropped from the side amid uncertainty about a Real Madrid move and indignant about Van Gaal’s claims that he was not in a fit mental state to have played for the club in the first four games of the season. But the view within the club is the manager will find a way of mending fences with De Gea.

United feel the Dutchman’s belief in players showing total commitment in training is too ingrained for a climbdown and that his sometimes confrontational style is something they bought into when hiring him.

They are adamant that they will not repeat the turmoil of buying six players in a transfer window and consider the overhaul of Ferguson’s squad to be near completion. Sources at the top of the club insist that Van Gaal was more than happy with three months which delivered the retention of De Gea, along with nearly £150m of investment.


Though Chelsea appeared to have gazumped them by securing the Barcelona forward Pedro, United insist he was not high enough on their list of targets, with a specific aspect of his game – a relative lack of pace – contributing to Van Gaal’s uncertainty, in a summer when the club were looking for that component. The club kept their options open but insist that ultimately they did not sufficiently want the 28-year-old.

The absence of a defensive back-up option when Sergio Ramos could not be prised from Real Madrid also looked like a failing, though it is understood than Van Gaal simply did not have another defender he considered worth moving for. Privately, Van Gaal has said since failing to sign Mats Hummels from Borussia Dortmund that alternatives must be of the highest class to fit the bill for United. The club maintain that no one other than Ramos was considered of an adequate calibre this summer.

It is understood that United did make a formal bid for Southampton’s Sadio Mané, though the South Coast club’s rejection of the offer bears out what the Old Trafford hierarchy consider a new phenomenon in the market: medium-bracket clubs with big TV revenues refusing to sell. “You can’t just go to these clubs with a bag of cash and expect them to sell any more,” said one source.

United insist their interest in Barcelona’s Neymar did not translate into an expression of interest in buying him.

The Spain national team coach, Vicente del Bosque, has urged De Gea to “be professional” and “prove what a good goalkeeper he is” after the collapse of his Bernabeu move. “The important thing is that David reacts,” Del Bosque said. “He has to know what has happened, look to the future and be a good professional.”

Ramos added: “Nobody has died for this. He must maintain his level. He is one of the best keepers.”

Speaking at the presentation of HCL as United’s official digital transformation partner, Herrera said of De Gea’s return to Old Trafford: “Of course, David is my friend and I want the best for him. He has had a very, very good four years for United and he will do it again.

“He is a very good professional, you can see that every day, he never missed one training session, he never missed one game. So I think he is going to do [it] again. For me, he is the best goalkeeper in the world.”