Rafa Benitez remained tight-lipped about Real Madrid’s interest in David de Gea during his first press conference as Real Madrid manager.
The Manchester United goalkeeper has been heavily linked with a move to Madrid this season with his current contract expiring at the end of next season.
The Spanish international’s girlfriend, singer Edurne, lives in Madrid and De Gea is said to be keen on a move back to his hometown having started his career at crosstown rivals Atletico Madrid.
Speaking at his first official press conference as Real Madrid manager, Benitez refused to comment on his side’s transfer targets.
“De Gea? I am not going to get into names,” he said.
“We must think of the best performance that we can get out of the team.”
By comparison, Benitez was also asked about Raheem Sterling and complimented the Liverpool attacker.
“We admire Raheem, that’s no secret – but he is not one of our players so I can’t really comment on him,” he said.
It’s interesting to see Benitez take a different and more coy approach when questioned about De Gea in comparison to Sterling.
The De Gea transfer saga could be a deal that drags on all summer as a conclusion is reached. United are keen to keep their shotstopper but understand that, given his contract situation, selling him and moving on might be the best option.
United currently have Victor Valdes and Anders Lindegaard under contract but it is quite possible that they add another name to that list in the coming months should De Gea depart for Madrid.
Some of the names mentioned as possible replacements are Tottenham Hotspurs’ Hugo Lloris and Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak.