Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has told boss Louis van Gaal that he doesn't want to play against Aston Villa this weekend.
The Spanish international watched on from the stands as the Red Devils won their season opener against Tottenham 1-0 last weekend after Van Gaal confirmed he wasn't ready amidst speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid.
De Gea has less than one year remaining on his contract at Old Trafford and has so far refused to sign a contract extension worth £200,000-per-week.
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Now Van Gaal has confirmed that De Gea held a meeting with Manchester United goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek, and the former Atletico Madrid admitted he didn't feel as though he'd be ready to start against Villa.
His response is likely to anger fans who have previously backed the goalkeeper in the hope he would stay put for at least another season despite Madrid pushing for a deal.
The Manchester United boss is quoted by the Sun as saying: “We’ve talked with him, he was fully agreed with our decision.
“We have a goalkeeping coach, Frans Hoek. He had a meeting with David De Gea and he asks him ‘Do you want to play?’. No. So then I have to take the decision. It is a process.”
The Red Devils have already named De Gea in their squad for the Champions League this season, an indication that they will hold on to the goalkeeper for this summer.
So far talks with Real Madrid heave led nowhere and Manchester United will let him walk away for nothing next year rather than sell him for a reduced fee in the current window. New signing Sergio Romero started against Tottenham and Van Gaal insists that if De Gea stays then he's not guaranteed to get his place back.
“He was not the same David De Gea as before, he was my best player last season. According to the fans, he was the best of the last two years," he explained. “He remains out of the squad. I have said that already. Normally, Sergio Romero stays in goal.”