Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea is believed to be nearing a completion in negotiations for a new contract, but reports in Spain suggest that the delay has been partly caused by him and manager Louis van Gaal blanking each other for months.
Spanish newspaper AS reports that the relationship between the goalkeeper and manager has broken down so much that it could force the Spaniard to seek a move to another club at the end of the season, with Real Madrid heavily interested in United’s No 1.
The report claims that Van Gaal’s frosty personality is to blame for the breakdown in communications, and with a deal yet to be agreed between the two parties, the prospect of De Gea leaving Old Trafford in the near-future is a very distinct possibility.
Manchester United summer signings - assessed
Manchester United summer signings - assessed
1/6 Ander Herrera (£29million)
A long-term target for the club, Herrera finally arrived from Bilbao for nearly £30m, United’s first move of the window. The Spaniard has had a couple of injury problems of his own but, inexplicably if you ask fans, has not found favour under Van Gaal. The midfielder, classy on the ball and strong in the tackle, looks a good player whenever he plays, but has only started six Premier League matches. Hit or Miss? MISS
2/6 Luke Shaw (£30m)
Struggled with fitness (and perhaps weight) issues at the start of the season, feeling Van Gaal’s wrath. Had to wait until the end of September to make his first start for his new team. Clearly talented the England teenager has grown in confidence and gained the confidence of his manager; Shaw is now a starter on the left when fit. HIT
3/6 Marcos Rojo (£16m)
Another who has struggled with injury problems, Rojo has only started 10 matches this season. Has been inconsistent and erratic in his performances and has a long way to go to reach the level of the men he replaced, Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand. MISS
4/6 Angel Di Maria (£59.7m)
The British record signing started his United career fantastically, looking like a player worth all the money that was paid for him. But sadly for the club he has picked up a series of injuries that have limited him to just 131 minutes of action since the end of November. United know they overpaid for him, but he will come good when fit. MISS
5/6 Daley Blind (£14m)
When Blind started his first couple of games, fans and pundits wondered if the club had found a new midfield linchpin. But Blind was then injured and Michael Carrick returned in great form, leaving a those same fans and pundits wondering what the fuss over the Dutchman was about. His versatility will come in handy in the future, however. MISS
6/6 Radamel Falcao (£6m loan)
The biggest disappointment of them all, Falcao arrived on an expensive loan deal that United are now hesitant of extending. The Colombian star has played well in spots, but he was bought for his goals and has produced just three of them in his 13 matches. Still far from full fitness or his very best, a permanent deal will not happen unless Monaco lower their £43m asking price, or the striker begins to find the kind of form that made him one of the world’s best. MISS
"What is pushing De Gea away from Manchester and nearer to Madrid is his bad relationship with Van Gaal," the report claims.
"They have not spoken to each other for a few months."
It’s also suggested that Van Gaal’s recent snipe at De Gea shows the relationship between the two is at an all-time low, with the 63-year-old saying that to suggest De Gea was winning the club points on his own with his saves would be wrong because that’s his job as a goalkeeper.
"I think he doesn't save many points because he's my goalkeeper," said Van Gaal earlier this season.
"His obligation is to hold balls and you are thinking that is an exception for other goalkeepers and it's not.
"I'm sorry for that."
Talks are ongoing over a new contract for the Spain international, with the club reported to have offered him a deal that would see him become the highest paid goalkeeper in the world. However, De Gea’s party, which includes his agent Jorge Mendes, are insisting that a release clause of no more than £25m is put into a new contract.
De Gea currently has 17 months to run on his current contract, which expires at the end of the 2015-16 season, and his emergence as one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League has led to United's decision to tie down his future before it gets too late.
That would certainly alert Real, who have made a habit of signing one blockbuster name every summer following the additions of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric and Gareth Bale in recent years.
- More about:
- Manchester United