Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea's representatives have already held tentative early transfer talks with Real Madrid, ahead of a summer move which the Spanish giants believe they can secure for just €30 million.
That is according to Spanish newspaper AS, who believe that De Gea feels his time at United is drawing to a close and is desperate to secure a return to La Liga sooner rather than later.
De Gea is currently locked in contract talks with United over the terms of a bumper new deal, but try telling that to Los Blancos side who believe De Gea fits the bill as the long-term replacement of club legend Iker Casillas.
Valdes signed as a contingency plan
The Red Devils are well aware of De Gea's ties to Spain and have already put in place a contingency plan should they fail to keep the outstanding young stopper, signing former Barcelona number one Victor Valdes to an 18-month deal earlier this week.
Valdes will have to be patient for now but could fit the bill should the lure of a return to his home city prove too strong for De Gea resist, new contract or otherwise.
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Will De Gea force the issue?
Real Madrid believe that De Gea will be available for what has to be viewed as a bargain €30m price tag should those contract talks continue to rumble on, because the 24-year-old's current deal expires at the end of 2016.
That means that despite becoming a massive fan favourite at Old Trafford the in-form keeper may force United to sell him this summer, rather than risk losing him for free in 18 months.
De Gea could of course attempt to end persistent speculation linking him with the Bernabeu by penning fresh terms at United, but that is unlikely to deter a Madrid side who pride themselves on identifying transfer targets and bringing them to the club by any means necessary.
Madrid have already sounded out De Gea's camp over his willingness to leave this summer because Casillas has agreed to leave the club at the end of the season, which means United are really up against it in their bid to keep a key player that has blossomed over the last two years.
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