Spanish football expert Guillem Balague claims talk of Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea moving to Real Madrid are premature and that any talk of him being used to bring Garth Bale to Old Trafford will never happen.
“He is a target,” Balague confirmed on Sky Sports News HQ. “They have been saying it for a while.
“There have been agents of goalkeepers – the top goalkeepers in the world in some cases – who have gone to Real Madrid and said ‘how about our guy?’ and the answer from Real Madrid is ‘we want de Gea’.
“He has not committed himself as has been published in the Spanish media. He hasn’t signed anything with Real Madrid but he has got a decision to make.
“What is interesting is that in the past the presence of Casillas would have been an issue but I’ve got the impression that he has changed his mind on that and he actually doesn’t mind.
“He will accept the challenge if he goes to Real Madrid and if Casillas is there.”
The 24-year-old has been remarkable for Manchester United this season and looks set to win the clubs player of the year award for a second year in a row.
While De Gea may be tempted to move back to the city where he grew up and his family still live, along with the fact his girlfriend Edurne Garcia would prefer to live in Spain, Balague revealed that United were offering the 24-year-old significantly more money that Real Madrid would be willing to pay him in wages.
“On the table, there is an offer from Manchester United which increases his wages by five times and he will not earn as much money at Real Madrid,” Balague said.
“The money is an issue but he also has to make a decision that also is to do with personal interests – his family is not there all the time and his girlfriend would love to be in Madrid more than in England.
“All in all, it is a decision that is as much personal as it is professional.”
Sky Sports football pundit Gary Neville brought up the possibility of a De Gea and cash swap for Bale, but it was instantly shot down by Balague who claimed sources have told him that Bale is going nowhere.
“He is staying at Madrid – end of,” Balague said. “There is no story there. Gareth Bale is going to be at Real Madrid next season.
“Is Gareth Bale the happiest? Is at the best he can be at Real Madrid? Certainly not.
“But there is more to come from Gareth Bale at Real Madrid and of course he would like to play in a position where he is more comfortable, play in a position similar to the one that made him famous and made him cost €101m.
“He needs more freedom on the pitch and to link up with Ronaldo in a different way. Why not Ronaldo as a number 9 with Gareth Bale behind him?
“It is something that will have to be decided, either by Ancelotti or the next coach, but Bale is definitely staying at Real Madrid.”