Real Madrid appear to have given up the fight to attract David De Gea to Real Madrid this season, after seemingly giving Keylor Navas the number one shirt, and handing the number 13 jersey to Kiko Casilla.
With the Spanish giants so determined to attract Manchester United’s goalkeeper this summer, it seems surprising that they have taken the unusual step of confirming their squad numbers, and all of the goalkeepers allocated numbers (including the number 25, which has been popularly worn by some La Liga stoppers in recent years) are taken, with Madrid giving that shirt to Fernando Pacheco, as our screencap from their website shows.
Of course, these are probably subject to change – and, Real Madrid could always sell a goalkeeper, although that won’t be Casilla, who has just returned to the Bernabeu. It stands to reason that the number 25 shirt could be kept for De Gea, with the youngster Pacheco being moved on, but at this moment the transfer is becoming more and more unlikely.
United have remained calm and insistent that it will take a world record fee to prise De Gea from Old Trafford despite the fact that the goalkeeper’s contract runs out next year, enabling him to make that move on a free transfer. It now appears as if that will be the only way that transfer goes through, with Real surprisingly not being as aggressive as they usually are if only to prove a point.
Florentino Perez is renowned for bringing in at least one ‘Galactico’ every season and is under some pressure to do this year after the high profile departure of Iker Casillas. In fact, it’s even more surprising that Perez isn’t boldly moving with that world record fee to make a statement, but his history at underpaying for defensive players appears to be to the benefit of Manchester United this year.