There is a new twist to the ongoing saga of Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea's possible return to Spain. The Daily Mirror reports that De Gea, who began his professional career with Atletico Madrid, will receive a £12 million signing-on fee if he sits out the final year of his contract to join La Liga titans Real Madrid next summer.
Such a move would be a massive blow for United. The club has valued the 24-year-old for as much as £35 million, and Real Madrid have reportedly bid £25 million. Real Madrid have been the only serious bidders for De Gea, who is considered among the best goalkeepers in the world. At the moment, Real Madrid have Keylor Navas and Kiko Casilla as the only goalkeepers on the roster.
De Gea has not played for United this season while the club attempts to straighten out his situation with Real Madrid, playing Sergio Romero in his place in two Premier League matches. Meanwhile, United manager Louis van Gaal is reportedly disappointed that versatile defender Sergio Ramos was not included in a deal that involved De Gea.
Instead, Ramos signed a five-year contract with Madrid on Monday, after the club rejected a £28.6 million bid by United in June, according to BBC. The 29-year-old arrived at Santiago Bernabeu in 2005 after starting his professional career with Sevilla, and has made 314 appearances with Los Blancos.
Club president Florentino Perez has not made a big splash this summer after some major additions in 2014. However, that could change in the club's pursuit of crafty Croatian midfielder Mateo Kovacic. According to the Guardian, Real Madrid have agreed to a deal with Inter Milan to sign the 21-year-old on a €32-million fee with a further €3 million in add-ons.
Kovacic joined Inter in 2013, and made 80 appearances for the Serie A club. The speedy central midfielder is among the best up-and-coming playmakers in the world, and his presence with Luka Modric and James Rodriguez may provide new manager Rafael Benitez with the right depth to make a serious run at a Champions League title.