Real Madrid have reportedly told David De Gea he needs to decide by May if he wants to return to Spain this summer.
The Manchester United goalkeeper is a long-term target of Real Madrid, who came within minutes of signing him in the summer of 2015, before the move broke down after the paperwork wasn’t filed before the deadline.
However, they’ve continued to track his progress and he remains their No 1 choice when they look to replace Keylor Navas this summer.
It is believed De Gea’s United deal has a clause written into it allowing Real to pounce should they meet the £50million exit clause.
But after De Gea’s agent Jorge Mendes met with Real officials this week, the Sunday Mirror claims they have set De Gea a deadline of May 1 to decide if he wants to make the move back to La Liga this summer.
If not, it is claimed Real will switch attention to Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois, with Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris another option.
De Gea’s current deal is due to expire in the summer of 2019 and he could yet sign another new contract at Old Trafford should he decide to reject Real’s overtures once again.
It’s claimed De Gea has been impressed by United’s improvement under Jose Mourinho and how they fare between now and the end of the season could yet sway his decision.
The prospect of Real signing De Gea has remained a top topic of debate in Spain and one of the club’s former goalkeepers, Santiago Canizares, urged the club to keep the faith with Navas ahead of a move for the Manchester United man.
“I do not think Real Madrid need a new keeper because the position is well covered with Keylor and Kiko Casilla,” Canizares said.
“However, what I believe doesn’t matter because Florentino Perez is someone who usually doesn’t give up. He wanted De Gea in the past, it did not go well and it’s easy to predict that he will try to sign him again.
“I do not think that an investment of €40m (£34.2m, $42.1m) or €50m is justified because there is no such substantial difference between Keylor and them. But Florentino is not scared about those figures, he has proved it before. I think he still has a thorn in his side with De Gea [over his failed transfer to Real Madrid in the summer of 2015] and he’s going to try to sign him.”