David de Gea has agreed terms with Real Madrid to move a potential £50 million move away from Manchester United one step closer, reports The Express.
The 24-year-old has failed to kill speculation regarding his future at Old Trafford, refusing to sign a new contract despite reports suggesting a five-year deal was on the table. In fact, it was The Express who just yesterday claimed that Louis van Gaal had signed off on a £200,000-a-week deal.
But as it stands, De Gea's contract with the Red Devils is set to expire in 18 months time, leaving the club with little choice but to cash in should he decide to leave. However, according to the same report, Manchester United have placed a £50 million price tag on his head.
Don't forget about the price tag
Real Madrid could afford such a fee should they choose to pay it, but it is likely the price will fall significantly if De Gea's contract enters its final 12 months. It appears that is likely to happen with the goalkeeper already agreeing a contract in principle with Los Blancos.
Such a claim is nothing short of sensational, not just because it suggests that Real Madrid have broken the laws of football by entering discussions with a player without the permission of the club that player is contracted to. It also suggests that De Gea is unhappy with life at Old Trafford, despite there being several reports on the contrary.
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Any news about De Gea leaving, true or not, is a worry for Manchester United fans, who have seen their 24-year-old goalkeeper emerge as one of the world's best this season. Without the Spaniard, Manchester United would have conceded a lot more goals and that is bad thing in anyone's book.
What about that swap deal?
There were suggestions that Manchester United could involve De Gea in a cash-plus-player swap deal for Gareth Bale, which may have been enough to consolidate the Old Trafford masses.
It would not help to replace De Gea, however, with few goalkeepers in the world today who could be mentioned in the same breath.