Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has revealed that he would sign Barcelona star Andres Iniesta for the Red Devils if it were down to him. The 23-year-old, who could make his Spain debut against Bolivia this evening, believes the World Cup winner remains one of the finest footballers on the planet.
Speaking to Movistar, De Gea also revealed that he would not allow his close friend Juan Mata to leave Old Trafford. The former Chelsea playmaker, who joined United for a club-record £37.1m fee in January, has been linked with a move away from the Premier League giants in recent weeks following the arrival of Louis van Gaal.
In the same interview, De Gea admitted that replacing Casillas as Spain’s first-choice goalkeeper “is very complicated,” while he also reserved special praise for Atletico Madrid’s La Liga-conquering players, despite their defeat in last weekend’s Champions League final to city rivals Real Madrid.
“Atletico players are an example,” De Gea, who was named Manchester United’s Player of the Season for the 2013/14 campaign, added.
But it was his comments about iniesta which catch the eye. The Barcelona midfielder, who scored the winning goal against the Netherlands in the 2010 World Cup final against South Africa, was linked with a move to Old Trafford last year before he eventually put pen-to-paper on a new three-year contract with the Catalan giants in December.
However, following a disappointing season under Gerardo Martino, there is intense speculation that the South American coach’s successor Luis Enrique will overhaul the Barcelona squad ahead of the 2014/15 campaign. Iniesta is not expected to be one of those made available for transfer, although another Spanish midfielder De Gea would love to see at Old Trafford is currently up for sale.
Cesc Fabregas, however, is not believed to be one of Van Gaal’s primary transfer targets - despite plenty of speculation claiming otherwise.