David de Gea has been handed a possible route back into first-team contention at Manchester United after being named in their 25-man squad for the Champions League.
The Spanish goalkeeper was on the verge of completing a move to Madrid until paperwork problems meant the move was unable to be finalised before Spain’s transfer deadline at 11pm on Monday.
De Gea has yet to play for United this season, with the club instead selecting Argentinian Sergio Romero, but his inclusion in their Champions League squad is an indication that Louis van Gaal will welcome the Spanish stopper back into the fold.
De Gea’s Spain team-mate Juan Mata also insists the keeper is ready to play again for United in a further hint at a thawing of relations.
While there was good news for De Gea, there was no place in the squad for compatriot Victor Valdes as he continues to be frozen out by Van Gaal.
The former Barcelona goalkeeper was close to a move to Turkish club Besiktas last week but that move fell through and his prospects of earning playing time this season appear bleak.
Romero, who has deputised for De Gea while the Madrid saga rumbled on, and Sam Johnstone are the other two goalkeepers in the squad.
Elsewhere, youngsters Guillermo Varela, Nick Powell, Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira were all included while new signing Anthony Martial is listed in the forwards alongside Wayne Rooney, Memphis Depay, Juan Mata and James Wilson.
Manchester United’s Champions League squad:
Goalkeepers: De Gea, Romero, Johnstone
Defenders: Jones, Rojo, Smalling, Shaw, Varela, McNair, Darmian
Midfielders: Carrick, Blind, Young, Herrera, Powell, Valencia, Fellaini, Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger, Lingard, Pereira
Forwards: Depay, Martial, Rooney, Wilson, Mata