Not many Manchester United fans expected to see David de Gea go on tour with the squad this summer and even fewer felt he would ever be back at Carrington training.
However, ahead of the Premier League season opener against Tottenham Hotspur, that’s exactly the situation Man United find themselves in.
De Gea was all smiles in training with his team-mates but there is still more than an air of uncertainty as to whether he will be a United player come September when the transfer window closes.
Sergio Romero has already been brought in on a free transfer by Louis van Gaal but it isn’t known whether he is considered a potential replacement for De Gea or whether he was simply brought in as a back-up, regardless of what happened.
United fans are desperately hoping De Gea will stay at the club and one thing is for sure – Ed Woodward is making it as difficult as possible for him to leave.
Real Madrid want De Gea at a cut-price because his contract expires next summer but United are unwilling to let him go for anything less than a world record fee for a goalkeeper. Too right.
At this stage, Real Madrid don’t want to overpay for a player they could get on a free next year and there is still a possibility De Gea could remain at the club for one more season and move to Madrid in 12 months.
That scenario suits United because De Gea is worth more to the team this season than a paltry £15-20m if that’s what Madrid are offering.
Will De Gea stay? Nobody knows but the longer United dig their heels in, the more likely it looks that, maybe, just maybe, De Gea will be going nowhere.