Jose Mourinho, the Manchester United manager, has told Real Madrid they will be wasting their time trying to sign David de Gea.
The Manchester United goalkeeper came close to joining Real Madrid in 2015 only for the deal, which would have seen Keylor Navas move to Old Trafford in return, to collapse on transfer deadline day.
Mourinho was prepared to let De Gea leave for Real last summer but the European champions backed away from a deal as they tried instead to finance a move for France striker Kylian Mbappé, who ended up joining Paris St-Germain on an initial loan from Monaco with a view to a permanent £165 million transfer.
De Gea is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of next season but United, who have an option in his contract to extend by a further 12 months to June 2020, want to tie the 27-year-old to a new long-term deal.
And Mourinho expects De Gea – who has been outstanding again this season and established himself as arguably the best goalkeeper in the world – to remain at United and told Real they should train their sights elsewhere.
“I see him [De Gea] staying here,” Mourinho told Spanish TV station La Sexta. “I do not know Real Madrid’s intentions but, if I were them, I would think of another player.”