Goalkeeping hasn’t been a significant issue for Real Madrid this term. Los Blancos have conceded only 28 goals, the fourth lowest total in La Liga play, and veteran Iker Casillas has racked up 75 saves while 28-year-old Keylor Navas figures to serve as Casillas successor one day.
But speculation has all but insisted Madrid are poised for a splash move for Manchester United keeper David de Gea. And according to recent reports, the 24-year-old Spaniard desires the move just as much as Bernabeu officials.
Journalist Josep Pederol told Spanish television station La Sexta that De Gea “said yes to Real Madrid,” and the only obstacle left is Madrid and United ironing out a deal, according to Daily Mirror. The report indicates De Gea and United manager Louis van Gaal have a “poor relationship” and that it could be the main reason why he desires a return to Spain.
De Gea is under contract until 2016 and his market value has risen to £18 million as his play carried Manchester United to an unexpected third-place run in Premier League. He’s tied for sixth in the league with 10 clean sheets, eighth with 81 total saves, and has surrendered only 31 goals in 33 matches this term.
United of course want to retain De Gea, but the player’s desires could ultimately force him away from Old Trafford.
"The Manchester United goalkeeper wants to wear the white of Real Madrid from next season. The club considered many options for the goalkeeping situation but have decided on De Gea,” Pedorol said. "And David De Gea is clear... he wants to be the Real Madrid goalkeeper.
"One of the problems had been the future (or not) of Iker Casillas but this is no longer an impediment to the signing of De Gea.
"Only an agreement between the clubs is lacking."
Casillas is under contract through 2017, and he’s one of Madrid’s more decorated keepers in their history, but De Gea and Navas could represent a tantalizing and formidable tandem well into the future.
As for who plays in front of whomever sits in Madrid’s goal, Valencia are trying to fight off Los Blancos' attempts to sign young left-back Jose Luis Gaya.
Valencia have risen to fourth in La Liga thanks to a defense that’s allowed only 25 goals all season, second only to Barcelona’s 19, and Luis Gaya is considered one of the best at his position.
But Valencia president Amadeo Salvo quickly shot down any chances that Luis Gaya heads elsewhere.
"Gaya will renew with Valencia, he's not joining Madrid," said on Friday according to ESPN FC. "You can quote me on that in your respective newspapers."
Luis Gaya is signed until 2018, and he has a buyout clause of £12.9 million, a fee Madrid can certainly afford after deciding not to re-sign defensive midfielder Sam Khedira.
Los Blanos already have a solid corps of left-backs in Marcelo, Fabio Coentrao and Daniel Carvajal, with 32-year-old Alvaro Arbeloa on the right side. But adding the 19-year-old Luis Gaya, much like the potential signing of De Gea, provides a significant amount of youth along the backline for years to come.