Get Real, Madrid!Added by Philip Meese on 10 Jul 2015 20:22
It’s no secret now that David De Gea will represent Real Madrid in the not too distant future. But with United digging in their heels, what are their motives, what are they thinking?
By Frank Mead, Editor
Barring a major change of heart, which no realistic United fan expects to happen, David De Gea will be unveiled at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu as their latest Galáctico before he’s much older. It’s not that much of a surprise when you think about it – not many Spanish players grown up dreaming of living in Manchester, or supporting United.
Manchester United have made no secret of their admiration for Madrid defender Sergio Ramos (and if reports from Spain are to be believed, he seems rather keen on the idea) and the sensible option would be for both clubs to just swap players. But Madrid aren’t used to being backed into a corner. They want both, and appear to be prepared to throw their toys out of the pram if they don’t get their own way – as was demonstrated by them apparently slapping a £65 million price tag on the defender, shortly after offering United less than £20 million for one of the world’s top goalkeepers.
I personally expect De Gea will leave this window, regardless of whether Ramos heads in the opposite direction. Madrid are just trying to get him on the cheap, but why should United sell him for anything other than a record fee for a goalkeeper? For instance, if Madrid say they won’t go any higher than £20 million, then the smart thing United should do is tell them “In that case, you aren’t getting him this summer”.
What would United have to lose by taking such a stance? From reports that have come in this week, De Gea has shown “great professionalism” since returning for Pre-Season training. If we don’t sell him this summer, and he ends up being our number 1 for a further year, I would have expected him to display the same professionalism in matches – after all, if he is so keen on moving to the Bernabéu, he will want to make sure their interest doesn’t cool just because he is sulking at not getting his move (a certain England international should take note). In addition to this, there is also the small matter of the Spain number one jersey, which he will no doubt be keen to make his own.
So we lose him for nothing net summer, but you have to remember we still have the Champions League qualifiers to negotiate. There is a good chance we could get a team from Spain, Italy or Germany, and you would have to think United have a much better chance of getting through that with De Gea between the sticks – failure to qualify for the group stage would probably cost United a lot more than the pittance Madrid are offering.
And if they get into the group stages, who knows how far United could go? Nobody can predict because they have no idea who will be playing for the Reds next season. Of course, we aren’t the best team in Europe, and probably wont be whoever we sign this summer – but neither were Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea or Porto when they lifted the giant trophy. If your name’s on the trophy, you lift it.
I have never made a secret of the fact that I think Madrid are a joke of a club. They proved it once again this summer, by sacking a world class manager like Carlo Ancelotti (a manager who I believe any United fan would have welcomed with open arms, had he been the “Chosen One”), and appointing a man who had all the tools at his disposal to finally end Liverpool’s title jinx, but chose instead to concentrate on starting a spat with Fergie rather than the title race – and ended up losing both.
So the smart thing could be to keep De Gea, let him run down his contract and help us negotiate a return to the Champions League. There is always the pipe dream that he may start enjoying his football so much that he ends up signing the deal United have offered him. If only.
With the sort of money Manchester United have been throwing round this last year, they can afford to take a hit on the sort of money Madrid are offering (you sure they want you that much, Dave?). They will probably blow a similar amount on at least one player who ends up being a waste of money, every club does. But to sell him cheap, just so that we get a fee for him, could cost United in the long run. Champions League qualification is worth much more than that
I’m sure even those that hate our beloved club would get a kick out of seeing Real Madrid, just this once, fail to get their own way. Even if it was only for the time being.