Jasper Cillessen has told his Ajax teammates that he is leaving his current club in order to seal a move to Manchester United this summer.
This is according to Spanish broadsheet El Confidential - brought to our attention and translated by Sport Witness - who understand that the 26-year-old is in line to replace Real Madrid target David de Gea at Old Trafford this season.
Louis van Gaal fears that De Gea will secure his dream move to the Bernabeu before the transfer window closes on September 1 - and is preparing for the Spain international’s potential departure accordingly.
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Van Gaal has already secured the services of Argentina international Sergio Romero, who joined United on Monday as a free agent following his exit from Sampdoria. However, Romero has been signed as a replacement for Victor Valdes, rather than De Gea.
Valdes’ latest tweet suggests he will not be leaving Manchester United this summer without a fight. The former Barcelona goalkeeper has fallen out with Van Gaal after allegedly refusing to play for the Red Devils’ Under-21 side last season and has been told he will be sold this summer.
Valencia appeared to be the most likely next destination for the 33-year-old, but Los Che have opted to sign the Australia international Matt Ryan instead, leaving Valdes in a state of limbo.
Van Gaal knows Romero and Cillessen well
Van Gaal knows Romero from his time working with AZ Alkmaar, and knows Cillessen from his time working as the head coach of the Netherlands national team.
Cillessen was memorably subbed off by Van Gaal moments before the penalty shoot-out between the Netherlands and Costa Rica in the World Cup quarter-finals last summer.
Van Gaal sent on Tim Krul instead and it proved an inspired move, with the Newcastle United goalkeeper saving two spot-kicks.
Cillessen had never saved a penalty in his professional career at that point, and his lack of success in this department may concern Manchester United fans, many of whom fear De Gea has played his final competitive match for the Red Devils.
Cillessen and the Champions League
One thing which could tempt United to pull the plug on the deal to sign Cillessen is if he features for Ajax in their Champions League qualifier against Rapid Wien on Wednesday night.
The Dutchman will be cup-tied for Manchester United if he plays this evening - but a minor calf injury may prevent him from being selected by Ajax head coach Frank de Boer.
Manchester United fans: is Jasper Cillessen good enough to replace David de Gea? Would it be a bad signing? Have your say in the comments below!