Louis van Gaal has told David de Gea to forget about joining Real Madrid and prepare to start the new season as a Manchester United player.
That is according to the Daily Star's chief sports writer Jeremy Cross, who says there is a firm belief at Old Trafford that Real Madrid will not meet United's asking price in the current transfer window.
Van Gaal is set to select De Gea for Saturday's friendly against Barcelona having previously allowed him to sit out games against Club America and San Jose Earthquakes.
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And the goalkeeper's participation in the game will be a clear sign that Manchester United are ready to force him to see out the remaining 12 months on his contract.
Van Gaal told reporters: “I have good hope he can play against Barcelona. That is because we have to build him up. I think he can play (against Barca) and I hope he can.”
Dragging it out
Transfer deals are rarely simple when Real Madrid are involved and Manchester United have been doing their best to make life difficult for Florentino Perez and Co.
The consensus is that Ed Woodward has told his counterpart that there will be no deal unless Real Madrid either agree to pay their £35million asking price or include Sergio Ramos in the deal.
It has served to halt negotiations between the clubs with reports in Spain suggesting earlier this week that Real Madrid had decided to suspend talks until August.
Starting the season
But that will give Manchester United too little time to find a new No1 goalkeeper ahead of the new season, forcing Van Gaal to tell De Gea that time has run out.
De Gea is unlikely to extend his contract at Old Trafford and will have to wait until next summer when he can join Real Madrid for free.
Is Louis van Gaal right to force David de Gea to stay?