Jose Mourinho suggests Iker Casillas is behind criticism of David De Gea
"But why criticism in Spain? Do you know? I know."
David De Gea's performances for Manchester United in the last few years have shown that he is very obviously one of the best goalkeepers in world football. Perhaps even the best.
Were it not for some of his performances for Spain, this probably wouldn't even be a debate.
De Gea endured a difficult World Cup, and questions about his international future returned after fingers were pointed at him for Croatia's late winner in their recent Nations League.
His club manager, however, has a theory. Jose Mourinho has suggested the criticism of De Gea in his homeland is because of Iker Casillas.
Though Mourinho doesn't mention the World Cup-winner by name, many have interpreted his recent comments to be about Casillas, who has yet to officially retire from international football and recently revealed he'd be open to playing for his country again.
The United boss has now suggested that this has contributed to the criticism of De Gea in his homeland.
"But why criticism in Spain? Do you know?" Mourinho asked. "I know. Because there is somebody very powerful that is thinking about jumping again, but I think it’s very difficult to jump when you have the best goalkeeper in the world in front of you.”
Mourinho added that he felt such pressure to drop De Gea would not influence recently appointed La Roja national team boss, Luis Enrique.
"No. Not on the manager. The manager I know him very well, the manager. I am very good friends."
Mourinho all but outed the individual in question as being Casillas when he went on to confirm that the player had played under him in the past.
"Yeah, I like him,” Mourinho. “I was champion with him."
Casillas won La Liga under Mourinho at Real Madrid in 2012. The pair did, however, have a falling out, the goalkeeper eventually moving to Porto, where he currently plays.