De Gea ‘guar­an­teed’ to stay at United: Mour­inho

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Jose Mour­inho has given a “guar­an­tee” that David De Gea will stay at Manch­ester United this sea­son, de­spite the long-run­ning saga over a po­ten­tial move to Real Madrid. Trans­fer spec­u­la­tion over De Gea re­turn­ing to home­town club Real has stretched on for the last two years, ever since the goal­keeper was a whisker away from head­ing to the Bern­abeu in the sum­mer of 2015. But ahead of United’s In­ter­na­tional Cham­pi­ons Cup pre-sea­son en­counter against Real, Mour­inho has de­liv­ered an un­equiv­o­cal mes­sage about the 26-year-old’s fu­ture.

Mour­inho im­plied that there were ne­go­ti­a­tions with Real which fell through last sum­mer, yet he be­lieves the prospect of re­turn­ing to La Liga has now be­come less ap­peal­ing for the Span­ish in­ter­na­tional. “I can guar­an­tee that he’s not go­ing this sea­son. My feel­ing is that it will be very dif­fi­cult for him to go,” said Mour­inho. “He’s a very hon­est boy, very straight. He was con­tacted for a long time.

The club was closed [for ne­go­ti­a­tions]. “Then we opened [it] be­cause I al­ways have this feel­ing that when a player has the de­sire to go, I don’t like to stop them. In the end, you don’t get from them what you ex­pect. “So we opened it and then they de­cided to close. “I don’t think the feel­ing from him [to­wards Real] is very good. I see him re­ally happy, fo­cused and work­ing bet­ter than ever. For me, 100 per cent he stays with us.” Prior to the £75mil­lion ($97.4 mil­lion) sign­ing of Romelu Lukaku, United had been keen to do busi­ness with Real af­ter pur­su­ing now Chelsea front­man Al­varo Mo­rata. But Mour­inho has con­firmed that Real’s ex-Tot­ten­ham winger Gareth Bale was never a re­al­is­tic tar­get. He said: “You have con­tacts, you have feel­ings, you un­der­stand things. It was clear that Bale likes Madrid, likes the sit­u­a­tion and is in a club with a very good sit­u­a­tion now.

“I never felt the de­sire for him to leave so why use time and en­ergy on that?” Mour­inho still hopes to add a fur­ther two play­ers to his squad be­fore the end of the sum­mer trans­fer win­dow, de­spite de­scrib­ing the mar­ket as “very dif­fi­cult.”

But while Mour­inho is con­tent with the make-up of his cur­rent op­tions, he faces go­ing into the new sea­son with­out the in­jured trio of Luke Shaw, Ash­ley Young and Mar­cos Rojo. The three have been re­cu­per­at­ing with United’s squad in Cal­i­for­nia, yet Shaw is ruled out un­til Septem­ber, Young un­til Oc­to­ber and Rojo un­til De­cem­ber. “No chance [that any are fit] for the be­gin­ning of the Pre­mier League,” said Mour­inho.

“But it’s good to have them, good for them to be with us and re­cover with the group.” Their ab­sence does open the door for the young hope­fuls at United. The likes of Ti­mothy Fosu-Men­sah, An­dreas Pereira and Axel Tuanzebe are all due to fea­ture against Real, in Santa Clara, with Mour­inho keen to rest sev­eral key fig­ures af­ter Thurs­day’s win over Manch­ester City. “I’m go­ing to play other play­ers and give rest for some,” added Mour­inho. “[For] Tim Fosu Men­sah and An­dreas Pereira, it’s go­ing to be a great ex­pe­ri­ence for them.”

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