Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has told goalkeeper David De Gea that he must now focus on the season ahead at Old Trafford after the Red Devils and Real Madrid could not agree on a transfer fee for the 24-year-old Spanish international.
De Gea was absent from the first two matches of Manchester United’s pre-season tour of North America with a mysterious back problem, but has now been told he better be prepared when United takes on the European Champions Barcelona at Levis’s Stadium in San Francisco on Saturday.
“I have good hope he can play against Barcelona,’ said Van Gaal.
“That is because we have to build him up. I think he can play (against Barca) and I hope he can.”
Speaking about De Gea’s back problem van Gaal said: “He was injured and couldn’t play against San Jose, so I said ‘go stand in the goal so we have a point of direction for my attackers, but don’t do anything to risk your injury.”
Meanwhile Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has still not given up hope of signing De Gea, while trainer Rafa Benitez is adamant Sergio Ramos will be no part of any deal saying: “He is our player, our captain. I would like to see him at the beginning of the season, because he’s a key player for us.”