Midweek Sport - - NEWS - By JAMES McMATH

MANCH­ESTER UNITED risk los­ing star goal­keeper David De Gea to Real Madrid – un­less they DOU­BLE his money.

The Spa­niard is United’s cur­rent Player of the Year and has made an im­pres­sive start to this sea­son.

Real Madrid need a long-term suc­ces­sor to club legend Iker Casil­las – now 33 – and fancy De Gea.

The 23-year-old joined United from Atletico Madrid for £18mil­lion in June 2011 and has 20 months left on his £60,000-a-week con­tract.

Real pres­i­dent Florentino Perez would be will­ing to fork out £30m to take De Gea back to the Span­ish cap­i­tal.

After a dif­fi­cult first sea­son in Eng­land, De Gea has blos­somed into one of United’s key men.

He has also es­tab­lished him­self as Spain’s No1.

De Gea has al­ready ad­mit­ted that he con­sid­ered go­ing straight back home dur­ing his first trou­bled sea­son at Old Traf­ford.

“It was dif­fi­cult when you get a lot of crit­i­cism like I did,” he said.

“But I kept strong and I al­ways tried to re­main pos­i­tive.

“I loved train­ing. It was a great plea­sure, so I just did my work and worked through it.


“Those early days were dif­fi­cult for me and my fam­ily. But when you play for a big club like Manch­ester United, it is nor­mal when you don’t play well.

“I am glad it hap­pened in some ways, be­cause the crit­i­cism makes you stronger.”

Real de­fender Raphael Varane has con­fessed he turned down a move to United at the same time as De Gea – be­cause of Phil Jones.

France cen­tre-back Varane, 21, has be­come one of the hottest prospects in world foot­ball after be­ing signed by then Madrid boss Jose Mour­inho from Lens in 2011.

He had op­tions from all across Europe – in­clud­ing an of­fer from Sir Alex Fer­gu­son to join United.

Varane re­vealed: GLOVES ARE OFF: David De Gea wants a whop­ping pay rise

at Old Traf­ford as Real Madrid eye him to re­place veteran Iker Casil­las

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