Reports across the British press, fuelled by quotes from the player’s agent, are claiming that Manchester United have raised the stakes in their quest to sign David De Gea from Atlético Madrid.
De Gea has been a hot property in Spain over the last two seasons, and earlier this week it was reported that more than one top European club had the Spaniard in their sights for the summer transfer window.
However, De Gea’s agent, Hector Rincon, has confirmed the club has been in talks with the Premier League leaders over the transfer of the 20-year-old.
“We did have talks with Manchester United but, first of all, they always look for an agreement with the club,” he told sport.co.uk.
That’s something that United doesn’t have, according to The Times newspaper in England. This morning’s story claims that United have had a £17.5m (€19.8m) offer for De Gea rejected, but intend to come back in with an improved bid for the youngster and bring him to Old Trafford this summer.
Current Red Devils goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is set to retire at the end of the season, and despite United signing Anders Lindegaard from Aalesund in January, Sir Alex Ferguson is still looking for a top goalkeeper to replace the departing Dutchman.
The Times (behind a paywall) is reporting that Atlético have been aware of United’s interest in De Gea for a considerable time, and are “reluctantly open to a sale at the right price”. Would Atleti be willing to part with one of its most prized assets?
“You would have to ask the club,” De Gea’s agent said. “What I can tell you is that his release clause now is €20 million, but I have no idea if the club would sell him for less.
“Right now, the player has a contract with Atlético Madrid and if Manchester United or any other team want him they will have to reach an agreement or pay the whole release clause.”
Manchester United aren’t the only club linked with De Gea. Rincon also confirmed that all of the top clubs in England and Europe had asked about his client.
It is thought that, if United can’t agree a deal with los Colchoneros for their prized goalkeeper, they will turn their attention to Manuel Neuer of Schalke.