Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal confirms Real Madrid target David De Gea 'shall not play' opener against Tottenham

Van Gaal confirms Spaniard will not start on Saturday

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The Independent Football

Louis van Gaal has confirmed that David De Gea will not play in the Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.

The Spanish goalkeeper has been heavily linked with a move to Real Madrid as he moves into the final year of his contract at Old Trafford.

The Manchester United manager has confirmed that De Gea, 24, will not be considered for selection.

"He shall not play," the United boss said. "I think a human being is more than only a player, and he (De Gea) cannot manage that.

"We have problems of course with De Gea."

The Spain international started the final two games of United's pre-season tour of the United States, but is not ready to play in the first game of the season, according to Van Gaal.

Argentinian goalkeeper Sergio Romero is likely to start in his place, although Van Gaal would not confirm that. With Victor Valdes likely to be sold the only other options are youngster Sam Johnstone, who started two games in the US, and Anders Lindegaard, who has never played under Van Gaal.

Asked if new signing Romero would start the lunch time kick-off at Old Trafford, Van Gaal said: "You have to wait and see who is starting."

When asked what he thought the outcome of the De Gea saga would be, Van Gaal said: "I don't know. That's in process.

"I cannot lead this process - I can only watch and observe and that's what I'm doing, but I'm not participating in it."

De Gea's girlfriend Edurne Garcia appeared to let slip that a move to Real Madrid was imminent after reportedly being caught off-camera saying 'when he is in Madrid'.

Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez also confirmed that he is not done spending this summer.

Additional reporting from PA