We cannot afford to let De Gea leave for Real, warns Herrera
Manchester United face Real Madrid in Santa Clara today with Ander Herrera admitting it is imperative they keep goalkeeper David De Gea out of the clutches of the Spanish giants.
With Real expected to make a move for De Gea before the transfer window closes on Aug 31, United face a fight to retain the £60million-rated Spaniard.
United believe they are better positioned to resist Real’s advances than two years ago, when a deal collapsed amid much acrimony, because De Gea has two years left on his contract as opposed to one in 2015.
But Real know De Gea would like to return to his home city and join the reigning European and Spanish champions. The situation will be lingering in the background when the teams meet at the Levi’s Stadium in the International Champions Cup this evening.
Tense relations between the clubs were not helped by the negotiations over Alvaro Morata, with Real demanding £79 million for the Spain striker before United pulled out and signed Romelu Lukaku instead.
Real then agreed to sell Morata to Chelsea for £58 million to underline how they were playing hardball over the striker with an eye on De Gea.
Herrera is close to De Gea and says it is vital United keep hold of his compatriot. “He is a goalkeeper who can give you points,” the midfielder said. “That is very important. I want to keep him here, to play with him. He’s a fantastic keeper and also my friend, and you can see he’s very focused on Manchester United. If you lose the top three in any position, like David is, like [Paul] Pogba is, like [Romelu] Lukaku is, like Marcus [Rashford] can be, we don’t want to lose them, we want to keep them, and David is in the top three. For me, he’s the best in the world, so I want to keep him here at United.”
Lukaku underlined his ability with a stunning finish in the 2-0 win over Manchester City in Houston on Friday and Herrera has been impressed with what he has seen so far from the Belgium striker.
“He’s a top player,” Herrera said. “The way he plays for the team is the thing I like most about him, because it’s fantastic the way he comes to the midfield to help when the ball is there. When they [opponents] have the ball forward, he’s always thinking how to help the team, in terms of defensive work, so we are so lucky to have him, and if he scores, then even better. Time will tell [if he is the difference in the title race].”
Positional sense: David De Gea would like to return to his home city of Madrid