Manchester United are reportedly “confident” they can keep goalkeeper David De Gea out of Real Madrid’s clutches this summer. Meanwhile, Los Blancos star Marco Asensio has revealed Rafael Nadal’s input in his move to Real.
De Gea has long been linked as a target for the Spanish powerhouse, but Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News reported the Red Devils have boosted their chances or retaining the stopper’s services.
United clinched their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League by beating Ajax to this year’s UEFA Europa League crown last Wednesday, which is believed to have aided their bid to convince De Gea to stay at Old Trafford.
Luckhurst also commented on De Gea’s passionate response when United scored their first goal en route to a 2-0 victory in the Europa League final, an indication as to where the Spaniard’s heart lies:
With another two years left to run on De Gea’s contract, United may only feel pressured to sell their No. 1 if he were to push for an exit, which doesn’t appear likely as long as reports indicate he’s content in Manchester.
Current deputy Sergio Romero, who started throughout United’s European campaign this season, also indicated his team-mate’s future is still uncertain at present, per the Telegraph‘s James Ducker:
It’s believed Real aren’t likely to rely on incumbent No. 1 Keylor Navas as their starting goalkeeper for next season, but Los Merengues could be forced to find other targets if De Gea continues to shun their approaches.
Elsewhere, Real youngster Asensio has revealed tennis icon Nadal told Los Blancos president Florentino Perez to acquire his signature while at Mallorca in 2014. He told Real Madrid TV (h/t Calciomercato.com):
“My agent told me during winter that Real Madrid were interested in signing me. A number of clubs called and it was a complex situation, but Florentino called me before a game to tell me that I would play for Real.
“Everything happened in a day, we travelled to Madrid, we visited the Bernabeu and Valdebebas and we returned to Mallorca to finish the season. It was quick and intense but it was enormously satisfying. And it’s also true that Rafael Nadal called Florentino to tell him that he couldn’t let me slip away!”
The 21-year-old spent last season on loan at Espanyol but was kept at the Santiago Bernabeu this term, and blogger Liam Canning praised Asensio for his contribution to a terrific campaign under manager Zinedine Zidane:
Asensio has made 37 appearances for his club in a season where they ran to La Liga silverware and are set to take on Juventus in the Champions League final next Saturday.
Real fans will undoubtedly have a newfound appreciation for nine-time French Open champion Nadal for the role he played in Asensio’s signature, helping snap up a starlet who could emerge as one of Spain’s biggest talents in the coming years.