Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes David De Gea faces a “difficult” decision over his Old Trafford future after seemingly confirming Real Madrid’s interest in the Spain goalkeeper.
Reports linking De Gea with a close-season move to the Santiago Bernabeu dominated the build up to United’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal on Sunday.
De Gea left the action early due to a back injury and, after the match, Van Gaal stated it would not be easy for goalkeeper to depart while acknowledging the allure of a return to his homeland.
Van Gaal told Sky Sports: “It’s the same thing that I’ve already told you with every individual transfer, it’s a process. It is also a process for David de Gea.
“David de Gea shall not leave us so easily because we have a great club and he wants to participate.
“But, of course, he is Spanish and his girlfriend is Spanish and he can go to another great club.
“So it’s difficult for him to decide.”
Van Gaal told his post-match press conference that De Gea would struggle to play in the final game of the season at Hull City due to a hamstring injury and went on to caution the player against a move away from United.
“I don’t think that I can persuade him because he knows everything that he has at this moment at Manchester United.
“I don’t have to say something in benefit of Manchester United because he can feel it every day.
“Have you seen the fans [during and after the Arsenal match]? Unbelievable, that reaction for him.
“When he is going he is losing that because here he has a lot of credits. So he has to decide.”
The Dutchman bemoaned his players’ inability to close out victory over Arsenal and he believes that the solidity shown by champions Chelsea in such situations is what sets them apart from the Premier League’s chasing pack.
“I think the difference between Chelsea and Manchester United at this moment is they can finish a game, they can kill a game,” he said.
“When you are 1-0 ahead with fantastic football – they [Arsenal] did not cross the [halfway] line in the first half, I think.
“You create a lot of chances, you score a fantastic goal – then you have to finish a game.
“Chelsea can finish a game, can kill that game and that’s the difference.
“I don’t think Arsenal can do it because they lost 1-0 [to Swansea City] last week and I don’t think Manchester City can do it. That’s the difference in the top four and that’s the mentality that we have to remove.
“I can say we’re unlucky because it’s the third goal in a row [against United] that is deflected. Is it unlucky? No because you have to force the luck.”