General News of Sunday, 23 July 2017
Goalkeeper David de Gea will “100%” be staying at Manchester United this season, says manager Jose Mourinho.
The Spain international, 26, has again been linked with a move to Real Madrid, two years after a deadline-day deal fell through because the paperwork was not faxed through in time.
Mourinho hinted that United were open to selling De Gea to Real last summer, but said that stance has now changed.
“I can guarantee he is not going this season,” the United boss said.
Speaking about last summer, the former Real coach added: “The club was closed, but when a player has a desire to go, I don’t stop them. So, we opened it and they [Real] decided to close.”
Before the sides meet at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara on Sunday, Mourinho also said he regarded Real’s Gareth Bale as being in the same “mission impossible” category as team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Former United forward Ronaldo last week ruled out a return to Old Trafford.
“He was never on my list,” Mourinho said of the Welsh attacker. “It is clear Bale likes Madrid. He is in a very good situation. I never felt a desire from him to leave. So why lose time and energy on that?”
Sergio Romero made 18 appearances for Manchester United last season
Mourinho described De Gea as “really happy, focused and working better than ever” but suggested that he is no longer guaranteed his place in the starting XI.
Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero pushed De Gea hard last season and was preferred for the Europa League final win against Ajax.
Romero, 30, signed a contract extension until 2021 last week and both men will be given 45 minutes against Real on Sunday.
“The best thing that could happen for De Gea was the way Romero played last season,” Mourinho said.
“Until last year, David was clearly a safe man. A clear choice. But after what Romero did last season, David thinks he is training in another way. He is much better than before.”
Mourinho also confirmed that Luke Shaw, Ashley Young and Marcos Rojo will miss the start of the campaign, despite all three being on the tour of the United States.
Left-back Shaw is expected to return from a foot injury by September, Young will likely be back playing in October following a hamstring problem and Rojo will be fit after knee damage in December or January.