Former Manchester United boss Tommy Docherty has insisted that the club should sell David de Gea before the close of the transfer window.
Speaking to RetroUnited.com, Docherty claims that De Gea's girlfriend is calling the shots and 'doesn't like Manchester', as speculation regarding the goalkeeper's long-term future continues to rumble on.
De Gea, of course, has been heavily linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid and was left out of the Red Devils squad that beat Tottenham by one goal to nil in the season-opener of the Premier League last weekend.
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And Docherty believes both the club and the player could have handled the situation better over the course of the summer.
Speaking to RetroUnited.com, Docherty stated: "If I were in charge, David De Gea would be gone by now.
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Offload De Gea
"Because, at the end of the year, you get nothing for him. No matter how much money you’ve got, we’re not talking about thirty or forty quid, you’re talking thirty or forty million and that makes a big difference.
"You’re better having a great player who’s unhappy than one who’s in a great mood all week but can’t play.
"But you don’t want a player who’s going to sell you down the swanny. Especially one who had made it clear he doesn’t want to stay. It’s a risk that United cannot afford in more ways than one. You’ve got to look at the pros and cons. The first question you ask is ‘Can we start the season with him?’ And if the answer is no, like it was for Louis van Gaal, then you have to sell him.’
"The boy’s done well but the player isn’t in the right frame of mind and right now he’s calling the shots. Or should I say that it even seems like his girlfriend is – she doesn’t like Manchester and she’s making that plainly obvious as well. Both the club and the player could have handled this a bit better."
The problem for United, of course, is whether they have a goalkeeper ready to replace De Gea between the sticks at the Theatre of Dreams.
Summer signing Sergio Romero may well have occupied the position last weekend, but he still has it all to prove between the sticks in Manchester.
If Van Gaal and Co. really are serious about claiming the Premier League title this term, then it's crucial they have a stable shot-stopper protecting their back-line.
Do you think De Gea will leave before the end of the transfer window? Have your say below!