David De Gea will remain a Manchester United player next season and can be better than ever, Jose Mourinho has promised, as the goalkeeper prepares to face Real Madrid on Sunday – who have for so long been linked with bringing the Spanish international back to his homeland.
Only an administrative delay prevented De Gea from joining Madrid in 2015 after both sides had agreed to a deadline day deal and Mourinho hinted that United would have been open to selling one of their prized assets for the right price this summer, but that it was Real who decided not to pursue the deal.
"I can guarantee that he's not going this season - that I can," said Mourinho before the first of two meetings between United and Madrid in less than three weeks in Santa Clara, with the Uefa Super Cup to come on August 8.
"He was contacted for a long time, the club was closed, then we open because I always have this feeling of when a player has a desire to go I don't like to stop players to go because in the end you don't get from them what you expect from them if they want to move and they don't move.
"So we open it and then they decide to close, and I don't think the feeling for him is very good.
"I see him really happy and focused and working better than ever, so for me 100 per cent he stays with us."
De Gea won United's player of the year for three consecutive years between 2014 and 2016, but Mourinho believes the form of back-up goalkeeper Sergio Romero - who signed a new four-year contract last week - as United lifted the Europa League last season has pushed De Gea to be even better for the upcoming campaign.
"I think the best thing that could happen to David was the way Romero played last season because until then David was clearly a safe man," added Mourinho.
"He’s training in another way and David is much better now than before and he has amazing conditions to impress. To have both at the level they can be is fantastic."
De Gea is just the latest of a series of frustrating deals between Madrid and United this summer. Alvaro Morata completed his move from the Bernabeu to Chelsea earlier this week after United relinquished their interest in favour of beating Chelsea to the signature of Romelu Lukaku.
Mourinho described an Old Trafford return for Cristiano Ronaldo as "mission impossible" after United began their pre-season tour of the United States with a 5-2 thrashing of LA Galaxy despite the former Red’s discontent after being slapped with accusations of tax fraud from Spanish prosecutors.
And the United boss believes there is also no chance of Gareth Bale returning to the Premier League this summer after bagging three Champions League winners medals in four seasons since joining Madrid.
"It's the same (as Ronaldo). You have contacts, you have feelings. I think it is clear Bale likes Madrid, the challenge, the situation. He is at a club in a very good situation. I never felt a desire from him to leave so why lose time and energy."
Other than Lukaku, the capture of Swedish centre-back Victor Lindelof from Benfica has been United's only other signing so far this summer. Mourinho has spoken repeatedly of his desire for at least two more additions before the transfer window shuts on August 31, but accepted the difficulties of a window in which English clubs have been met with hyper-inflated demands from around Europe on the back of a record-breaking Premier League TV deal.
"I told them my plan was to get four players and give balance to the team to make a better squad," said Mourinho.
"I was analysing myself from a distance because I never got involved but I repeat the same: the market is very difficult and if the club has no chance to give me the four players then so be it. I like my group and players, and I go with them, but I still have the hope I can have a third player, maybe a fourth."
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