Real Madrid and David de Gea is football's answer to Rachel and Ross. Fans have agonized over the potential matchup that is seemingly made in heaven.
De Gea, a born and bred Madrista, has reportedly pined for a return to his hometown where his beautiful girlfriend and parents reside. Real Madrid, so long the beneficiary of the legendary Iker Casillas, are in desperate need of a long-term heir to his vacant throne.
The only problem, at least last year, was a pesky fax machine, which refused to read Manchester United's final documents over a transfer. Real Madrid paid for their delaying tactics and missed the summer window by two minutes.
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One year later, and it seems nothing much has changed except for the fact that certain situations are forcing Real Madrid to act now or forever hold their peace. Indeed, Manchester United have set their own clever deadlines that will basically stop the Spanish side from dragging out their interest deep into the summer.
According to AS, Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is determined to right the wrongs of last year and bring De Gea to the Bernabeu. It does not appear to matter that Keylor Navas has had a great season for Los Blancos; he is not the Spanish national that Perez desires.
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The situation is different from last year. De Gea has three years left on his Manchester United contract as opposed to one, and the Red Devils are under little pressure to sell. However, as part of the contract he signed at Old Trafford last September, there is reportedly a €50m release clause designated just for Real Madrid.
However, that release clause expires on June 15, giving Real Madrid under two weeks to make the deal happen. Miss it and Manchester United have no obligation to accept a deal while the European champions will also have to pay out €10.9m.
Why? Apparently they agreed a deal with De Gea's management that will see the lump sum paid to him if they fail to make the deal happen. Why they have done such a thing, you will have to ask the Spanish newspaper that has reported it.
Last chance saloon
This summer will be their last chance to sign De Gea, at least until 2018. Their two-window transfer embargo, imposed by FIFA, comes into play in January.
Real Madrid are fighting tooth and nail to get the ban lifted but a precedent was set when the same punishment was served to Barcelona for committing the same crime. That appears to suggest they will fail in their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.