Xavi Valero, the new Real Madrid goalkeeping coach was spotted taking notes as he watched De Gea train with the Spain squad on Thursday and kept tabs on the man he could potentially replace in the starting lineup, Iker Casillas.
Valero was also seen in conversation with the Spanish goalkeeping coach and Casillas himself in what may be a final opportunity to assess both player’s merits before sanctioning a move that would likely cost upwards of £25m.
The Manchester United player of the year has been linked with a return to his home city since before Christmas and his outstanding form, allied with the diminishing performances of Casillas, have made him a top priority for Real.
With De Gea moving into the final year of his contract and strong family ties to the area, it is likely United would have to sell or risk losing one of the best keepers on the planet for free next summer.
Although, even for a hefty fee, it would be a bitter blow for United fans to lose another world class talent to Los Blancos
United have already been linked with several replacements including both Petr Cech and Tottenham’s Hugo Lloris, although Victor Valdes – who is already on the club’s books – could prove to be a ready-made replacement.