Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has confirmed he has warned David de Gea that he will have to fight for his place if he remains at Old Trafford past this summer.
The Red Devils confirmed the signing of Sergio Romero this morning in a move that Van Gaal has since said was made necessary due to the ongoing uncertainty regarding De Gea’s future.
Van Gaal on his options
Although Victor Valdes is a virtual certainty to be sold since he’s fallen out with Van Gaal, the Dutchman still has two high-profile stoppers to fall back on, and he has confirmed De Gea is far from assured a first-team place.
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"I have, of course, spoken with Sergio and also with David, and with me always the best shall be in the line-up,” Van Gaal said, as per the Daily Mirror.
"So you have to fight.”
De Gea could play second-fiddle?
It may come as a surprise to some United fans, the notion that Van Gaal would drop De Gea even if he remains faithful to United this summer.
He could well leave Old Trafford for Real Madrid, but that possibility is looking less likely with each passing week.
Indeed the rumours that Sergio Ramos is set to pen a new contract at the Santiago Bernabeu appear to extinguish any hope De Gea had of returning to Spain in the coming month, with United said to have taken the stance that they will only let their goalkeeper go if they could get Ramos in return.
In any eventuality United signing Romero gives Van Gaal greater options than he otherwise would have had, with the Argentina international boasting good pedigree at the highest level.
If De Gea does depart Van Gaal can elevate the former Sampdoria man to pole position, although he’ll probably still need another stopper if Valdes is sold.
If that is the case then Ajax man Jasper Cillessen looks the most feasible option, particularly if the number one jersey at Old Trafford doesn’t have De Gea’s name on the back moving forward.
The presence of the Spain star, who has been exceptional over the past two years, is enough to put most would-be challengers off, but if he departs the ‘keepers berth will be up for grabs.
United fans, do you think De Gea will stay this summer? If he does is Romero good enough to displace him as number one? Let us know in the comments box below.