LONDON – David de Gea could have played his last game for Manchester United after he was left out of the squad for Wednesday night’s clash with Southampton.
Kieran O’Hara, who previously travelled to Saint Etienne and Rostov in the Europa League this season, was added to the party that headed for the south coast yesterday as the third goalkeeper behind Sergio Romero and Joel Pereira.
The move casts further doubt over De Gea’s future at United as Real Madrid prepare to make a bid in excess of £60million for the 26-year-old Spain international.
Having confirmed that Romero will play in the Europa League final against Ajax, manager Jose Mourinho says the Argentine will feature ‘in one game’ of the final two Premier League fixtures - probably at St Mary’s on Wednesday night.
The United boss has also promised to give third-choice goalkeeper Pereira his full debut, and the 20-year-old Portuguese is set to face Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Sportsmail understands that De Gea is aggrieved by Mourinho’s decision to keep Romero in goal for the Europa League final.
The Spaniard is also believed to have been left dispirited by the team’s defence and poor displays in the defeats to Arsenal and Tottenham, both effectively dead rubber games after Mourinho gave up on the race for a top-four finish.
De Gea’s future at the club could hinge on United reaching the Champions League by beating Ajax in Stockholm next week.
The goalkeeper’s camp know that Real Madrid have made him their top target, two years after his deadline day move to the Bernabeu collapsed because the paperwork was not submitted in time.
Real are prepared to offer a world-record fee for a goalkeeper to take De Gea back to Madrid where he played for rivals Atletico before joining United for £18.9m in 2011.
While De Gea’s time at United appears to be nearing an end, Michael Keane looks set to return to the club after leaving Old Trafford for just £2m during Louis van Gaal’s reign.
Keane, 24, has become one of the Premier League’s most highly-rated defenders under Sean Dyche at Burnley, and United are set to spend £25m to prise the academy product away from Turf Moor.
Keane’s arrival may lead to Chris Smalling’s departure with the England defender becoming increasingly disillusioned over Mourinho’s comments. The defender has been singled out in public by his manager for not making more of an effort to play when he was injured.
Meanwhile, Michael Carrick is confident of extending his stay at United. The central midfielder has held positive talks over a new one-year contract in recent weeks ahead of his testimonial on June 4.
Carrick claimed he did not want to sign fresh terms ‘for the sake of it’ but has played a key part in Mourinho’s first season.
Carrick’s fellow midfielder Paul Pogba will also miss Wednesday’s rescheduled game because he is in France for his father’s funeral.Youngsters Axel Tuanzebe, Scott McTominay and Demetri Mitchell keep their places with Mourinho planning to rotate his squad again.
The United boss claimed it is ‘crazy’ his side are playing twice in the last week of the season ahead of their final.
‘The accumulation of the games, I never had that,’ said Mourinho, who added that he has given his players days off on a case by case basis this week to cope with the fixture pile-up.
‘You know that in all of my career I was never out of European competitions in the group phases. I reached the semi-finals 10 times.
‘I go always until the end of the competitions. In the League Cup I normally go far. In the domestic competitions cups, I won in Spain, in Italy, in Portugal, so I normally have a lot of matches. This is crazy.
‘I never, ever have had a situation like this. It’s all so difficult. I am also giving one day holiday.
‘Monday, Daley Blind one day off. Ander Herrera one day off. Sometimes you need a day off and they don’t know what a day off is.’
Defeat in Europa final would cost united £50m
IF Manchester United lose the Europa League final - and fail to qualify for the Champions League - it will cost them £50million next year.
United’s chief financial officer Cliff Baty laid out the cost of defeat by Ajax in Stockholm a week today as the Old Trafford club released their quarterly figures on Tuesday.
United are on course to bring in record revenues of up to £570m this year.