Real Madrid will make a formal approach for David de Gea now that Rafael Benitez has been confirmed as the new boss at the Bernabeu.
Benitez has penned a three-year deal to take over Los Blancos, and his first port of call is seemingly to try and wrap up a deal for De Gea.
The Spanish international is out of contract next year and has so far refused to sign a new deal worth £200,000-per-week, a record for a goalkeeper. Reports yesterday claimed that Manchester United were resigned to losing their player of the year and after months of speculation it seems as though Madrid are about to make their move.
The Times report that an official offer will be made sooner rather than later, however that is only likely to be the start of negotiations. The paper believes that Manchester United will hold out for at least £29 million in order to let De Gea leave, despite the fact that he can walk away for nothing next year.
Manchester United's only hope of keeping the former Atletico Madrid man is if he performs a dramatic u-turn, although that now seems unlikely.
Instead it seems as though they are already eyeing up replacement options, with a host of top names on their hitlist and The Times say that Chelsea's Petr Cech is the ideal candidate for the role. The 32-year-old is set to leave Stamford Bridge in the summer after falling behind Thibaut Courtois in the pecking order - and he won't be blocked from joining the Red Devils.
His price tag, rumoured to be around £12 million, makes him a much more attracting option than Hugo Lloris of Tottenham. The French ace only signed a five-year contract at Spurs last year and yesterday he confirmed that deal doesn't contain a release clause, which means Manchester United would have to deal with the notoriously difficult Daniel Levy once more.
Stoke's Asmir Begovic has been suggested as a potential option as well, while there remains a chance that Victor Valdes, who signed on a free transfer in the last January transfer, could also be the new number one as and when De Gea does eventually leave Old Trafford.
It seems inevitable that Manchester United are about to lose their best player of the last two seasons, and now attention turns to who will replace him.
In terms of a long-term replacement Lloris seems the perfect fit, but it seems as though there is no way they will be able to lure him away from White Hart Lane even though he is keen to leave. Both Valdes and Cech seem like solid options over the next year or so - however Chelsea's promise to let Cech choose his next club will surely be tested if Manchester United to come calling.
Is De Gea a traitor for leaving when Manchester United want to make him the best-paid goalkeeper in the world?
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