David De Gea's future remains as unclear as ever after Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal insisted he is "not for sale" despite growing interest from Real Madrid.
Van Gaal has already shown his aggressive side in press conferences when facing uncomfortable questions, and the persistent transfer saga of the summer continues to frustrate the Dutchman whenever he is quizzed over De Gea.
That was the case once again on Friday, with De Gea set to miss Saturday’s fixture with Newcastle having not made an appearance this season due to Van Gaal losing faith in his concentration levels while Real maintain their interest.
However, the 64-year-old made is clear that the club have no intention of selling De Gea this summer, despite the Spanish No 1 having just one year left to run on his contract and a near certainty to leave Old Trafford on a free transfer next summer.
"I think when Manchester United wants a player he shall come, besides when a club is not selling," said Van Gaal.
"It is the same with us. We are not selling De Gea."
Real remain hopeful that a deal can be struck before the 1 September transfer deadline though. With United holding out for around £28m, Real could look to lower the fee with the inclusion of a squad player.
That appeared to be Sergio Ramos earlier in the summer, but the Real captain performed a dramatic U-turn and agreed a new five-year deal to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu, leaving the obvious contender for a player exchange to be the current No 1 goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
The Costa Rica international starred at last summer’s World Cup in Brazil, but after joining Real he only made six La Liga appearances and is believed to be deeply unhappy with his future up in the air. Should Navas not be included in the deal for De Gea and Real secure the signature of their top priority, Navas will reportedly be transfer listed immediately, with summer signing Kiko Casilla set to deputise De Gea.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies