Real are thought to have made De Gea their main target to replace former first-choice goalkeeper Iker Casillas, who left the club after 25 years to join Porto last week.
De Gea, signed for around £17.8million from Real’s city rivals Atletico in 2011, is seen not only as Casillas’ successor on the international stage for Spain, but also on a club level at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Although the 24-year-old has traveled with the Red Devils on their tour of the United States, there have been developments in the potential return to his homeland.
United are thought to be holding out for a fee upwards of £30m, and one that will likely eclipse the £32m paid by Juventus to Parma in 2001 for Gianluigi Buffon, which still stands as the biggest ever transfer of a goalkeeper.
However, with just one year remaining on his contract at Old Trafford, Madrid-based newspaper Marca report that as opposed to paying such a high fee now, Real are willing to wait for De Gea’s contract to run down before signing him on a free transfer next summer.
The Spanish publication claim Los Blancos will offer De Gea a signing-on fee of 5million euros – roughly equal to a proposed annual wage at the club – in order to convince the Spaniard to stay.