Manchester United have insisted that they still have a chance of keeping David de Gea away from Real Madrid this summer, according to The Express.
Their northern football correspondent, Richard Tanner, who retains close links with both Manchester clubs, has been told that Real Madrid are yet to bid for the goalkeeper and their £200,000-a-week contract remains on the table.
These claims are on the contrary to reports earlier this week, which suggested that De Gea had already said his goodbyes to his Manchester United team-mates and was close to completing a move to the Bernabeu.
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But Manchester United sources insist that, as far as they know, nothing has changed in De Gea's situation to justify those reports and they still retain hope that the Spaniard will sign a new contract.
The deal on offer would make him to best paid goalkeeper in the world but would essentially rule out the possibility of him succeeding Iker Casillas at Real Madrid.
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No bids yet
Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward understand why De Gea is tempted by a move to the Spanish capital.
Not only does he have the chance to succeed a Spanish legend at the world's biggest club, but he will also reunite with his girlfriend and family, who are both still based in Madrid.
However, they insist that the 24-year-old will be going nowhere unless Real Madrid president Florentino Perez decides to make his interest concrete and matches their £35m valuation.
The same report claims Real Madrid will open the bidding at £20m and hope the fact that De Gea has just 12 months left on his contract will force Manchester United to lower their asking price.
De Gea's problem
What makes things harder is the fact that De Gea is actually happy in Manchester and does not want to alienate himself from the Old Trafford faithful by declaring his desires in public.
The sacking of Carlo Ancelotti has also put a significant delay on things and now Perez must talk with Rafa Benitez over potential transfer targets before launching a bid.
Manchester United, meanwhile, have put a shortlist together of potential replacements with Tottenham's Hugo Lloris believed to be at the top.
But while the situation remains at an impasse, Manchester United cannot start planning for life after De Gea.
Instead they should force him to make a decision soon so they can get to work on getting the best price for him and the best possible replacement.
Should Manchester United force David de Gea to make a decision now?
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