Iker Casillas has reaffirmed his commitment to Real Madrid after stating his intention to honour the remaining two years of his contract at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The veteran goalkeeper was quizzed once again about his future in the aftermath of last night's Champions League quarter-final success over local rivals Atletico Madrid, to which he responded emphatically by promising to carry on representing Los Blancos until the summer of 2017.
Casillas's comments will be welcomed by everyone associated with Manchester United, as it's likely to mean that Louis van Gaal's first-choice custodian David de Gea will remain at Old Trafford, at least for the short-term future.
The Spain international has been heavily linked with a return to La Liga this summer, but it's understood the Red Devils ace would only be willing to join Real Madrid if he was guaranteed the number one spot.
And, the ongoing presence of Casillas means such assurances cannot be made by Carlo Ancelotti, which should improve the Premier League giants' chances of convincing De Gea to extend his stay at the Theatre of Dreams.
"I hope and wish to achieve the greatest number of titles I can," the 33-year-old was quoted saying by Spanish newspaper AS following Wednesday's 1-0 win against Diego Simeone's side. "I hope to fulfil my contract and when you make a commitment, it has to be backed up until the end.
"I have to earn it, train for it, battle and fight for my place. [But] I'm now of an age when I see things differently. If I'm not first choice, I still have a commitment to the younger players."
De Gea has just over 12 months remaining on his current Manchester United contract, and he's been stalling on a renewal despite the fact Van Gaal is ready to make him the highest paid goalkeeper in world football.
However, these latest developments regarding Casillas could prove decisive in the 23-year-old's thinking, with it now much more likely he'll commit himself to the Red Devils for another couple of seasons.
What does the future hold?
His failure to put pen to paper will almost certainly force the club's hand, though, as they won't want to lose one of their most important players on a Bosman free transfer at the end of 2015/16.
It will be interesting to see how it all plays out between now and the end of the summer transfer window, and what impact - if any - Casillas's latest statement has on determining De Gea's future at Manchester United.
Of course, on the other hand he could already have his heart set on joining Real Madrid and fancy his chances of keeping the club legend out of the starting XI next term, which would pave way for Victor Valdes to stake his claim for the No.1 spot at Old Trafford.
Manchester United fans: What do you think David de Gea will choose to do this summer? Have your say in the comment box below...
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