David de Gea has told Manchester United that he wishes to join Real Madrid this summer, according to the respected Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles.
The Spanish goalkeeper has been considering his future at Old Trafford for most of the current season but has now come to a decision to leave.
With just one-year left on his contract, Louis van Gaal and Ed Woodward must now decide whether to sell De Gea this summer or force him to see out the remaining time on his deal.
Of course, that would mean losing him for nothing next summer, but it would at least give them the services of a world-class goalkeeper for another season as well as slim hope that he might change his mind and agree a long-term contract.
However, De Gea has now set his heart on returning to his hometown where most of his family and his girlfriend still live.
Rejoining his loved ones have played a key part in his decision, but the chance to succeed Iker Casillas in the Real Madrid goal would also see the 24-year-old fulfill a long-standing dream.
Interestingly, the report also claims that De Gea has rejected advice from those closest to him to remain in Manchester.
The Spaniard was told to remain in the Premier League for at least the duration of his current contract as English football is the best place for a goalkeeper to develop a range of skills.
But De Gea has decided against that advice, seemingly confident that he has already garnered enough experience to become Real Madrid's No.1 for the next decade.
A big mistake
The biggest mistake that has been glossed over was the reported order from Van Gaal to hold back on an offer to extend De Gea's contract last summer.
Van Gaal has admitted that he was not convinced by the goalkeeper when he first arrived and allowing his contract to enter it's final 24 months inspired Real Madrid to get their transfer machine going.
Manchester United will have to look for a successor but could hand to role to Victor Valdes, who signed an 18 month contract with the club back in January.
Hugo Lloris is the most expensive option on their shortlist while Real Madrid's second-choice goalkeeper Keylor Navas has also been linked with a move to Old Trafford.
Should Manchester United SELL David de Gea this summer or lose him for nothing next year?
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