LONDON - Manchester United will resist bids from Real Madrid for David de Gea, who has been stung by criticism from manager Jose Mourinho.
The Spain goalkeeper was left out of the United side who won at Sunderland last Sunday, with Mourinho citing a hip injury. He will also miss out against Anderlecht on Thursday as Sergio Romero continues in goal.
As Sportsmail reported, Mourinho questioned De Gea’s lack of assertiveness against West Bromwich Albion and Everton. Mourinho has been challenging each player as he looks to push them out of their comfort zones but it’s something to which De Gea, three-times United player of the year, is not accustomed.
It is understood De Gea will be back in contention for next Sunday’s Premier League game against Chelsea.
De Gea’s absence and upset has alerted Real Madrid, who have long held hopes of persuading him to return to Spain.
Club president Florentino Perez failed with a bid of £29million for De Gea in August 2015 but has targeted him again for this summer.
United, though, hold the upper hand this time round having committed De Gea to a long-term contract without a buy-out clause.
They will insist De Gea is not for sale and know that Madrid’s other option is Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian has yet to commit to a new contract.
Madrid want Eden Hazard too but a top goalkeeper is considered of even greater importance at this stage of their planning.