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30th Apr 2017

If David de Gea is Real Madrid bound Manchester United fans may be keen on reported swap

Definitely not like for like

Mikey Stafford

Real Madrid, where Galacticos are stock-piled like Top Trumps but nobody can be bothered to service the office equipment.

If there had been a working fax machine at the Bernabeu in the summer of 2015, David de Gea would now be shaking his head at the antics of Sergio Ramos instead of shaking his head at the antics of Marouane Fellaini.

Not that the Champions League holders have given up hope of snagging the former Atletico Madrid ‘keeper, with reports in Spain unsurprisingly becoming more frequent in the wake of last week’s chastening El Clasico defeat.

Florentino Perez knows how to keep the natives from getting too restless. Signings, or at least the promise of signings.

De Gea, given all the practice he has got during his six seasons at Old Trafford, would certainly have made a better fist of saving Lionel Messi’s glorious last second winner than Keylor Navas did. The Spanish goalkeeper is world class and it is not hard to imagine him at the Bernabeu next season.

It may be a matter of “when” and “how much” rather than “if”.

Some are even reporting Joe Hart as the unlikely replacement for De Gea at United.

Spanish newspaper, Don Balon, report that Perez has signed off on the sale of James Rodriguez to United as part exchange for the goalkeeper.

Signed from Monaco in the wake of the 2014 World Cup for €60million and handed the number 10 shirt, the sale of Rodriguez to United is a sign of how much Perez wants De Gea (who is valued at €75m).

While the Colombian has not made the impact many expected he would, he was a Galactico signing of the president and, therefore, not easily discarded.

According to Don Balon, there is quite a difference between what United are willing to pay (€40m) and what Real are expecting (€60m).

Having started out with Banfield in Argentina before making the move to Porto, a potential €60m move to Old Trafford would make James the world’s most expensive player on cumulative transfers, ahead of Angel di Maria.

While he has not played as much as he would have liked at Madrid, the attacker is still only 25 and could reignite his career in the Premier League – it is patently obvious he has the talent.

Is he the player United need? Slight attacking midfielders/number 10s are not always Jose Mourinho’s favourite players.

With nine goals and 12 assists in 30 appearances this season, there is no doubting James’ impact in the final third. Is he the man to get the attack purring and, if so, is it worth losing De Gea – the best player at Old Trafford in the past four seasons?