Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag was adamant that he needed to make key changes to his squad composition ahead of his second season in charge.
The biggest change was seen in goal with David de Gea, a loyal servant for 12 years, shown the door after he made a string of high-profile errors last season.
The Spaniard was not only deficient in terms of playing out from the back, but his normally superior shot-stopping also let him down as United lost winnable games in the Premier League and got knocked out of the Europa League.
Despite these mistakes, the United manager had prioritised other positions as being more in need of reinforcements and the club had planned to agree a new long-term deal with the 32-year-old.
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The FA Cup final debacle was the one that finally broke the camel’s back and at that moment, Ten Hag decided that a drastic change was needed.
The previous contract offer was rescinded and new and much less lucrative deal was put on the table and De Gea ultimately chose to leave as a free agent and United ended up signing Andre Onana from Inter Milan.
The player was said to be relaxed about the situation despite major European leagues starting soon and he already had a huge deal on the table from Saudi Arabia.
Recently the news broke that Thibaut Courtois had suffered an ACL injury and would be out for the season and many outlets started linking De Gea with a move to the Spanish capital.
He was infamously close to agreeing a deal with the Los Blancos during Louis van Gaal‘s reign but an issue with the fax machine at Old Trafford led to the move breaking down and he ended up staying at the Theatre of Dreams.
But it has always been De Gea’s great wish to return to Madrid having come up through the ranks at Atletico Madrid before Sir Alex Ferguson signed him for United.
💥 Informa @miguelitocope
— El Partidazo de COPE (@partidazocope) August 10, 2023
However those dreams could be dashed if Cadena COPE are to be believed. They have reported that Carlo Ancelotti feels De Gea is not up to the standards required at the Santiago Bernabéu.
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“The white team moves urgently to look for a replacement, starting at noon, for Thibaut Courtois, after he was injured in the morning training session this Thursday. In the last few hours, many names have come out, such as Kepa, De Gea, Keylor Navas, or Bono.
“The Moroccan seems, without a doubt, the best placed to reinforce the goal of the white team. The Morocco international would be delighted to go to the Santiago Bernabéu, and Sevilla would not ask for an astronomical amount to sign him.
“De Gea’s name has also come out in the last few hours, recalling how he was so close to joining Real Madrid in 2015 and that he is a free agent after Manchester United decided not to renew his contract. However, he seems like a player with few options.
“As reported by Miguel Ángel Díaz in El Partidazo de COPE, the Spaniard does not convince Carlo Ancelotti, and he would be the one who would veto the option of signing him even if it was free.”
This is a further blow to De Gea’s credentials and it might signal the end of his dreams of playing in Spain. Judging by how other teams are operating, he might either need to reconsider his financial demands or move to Saudi Arabia.