The drama of the De Gea transfer saga; are there any winners?

De Gea himself is well aware of the differing football cultures in Spain and England. From a professional perspective he told the Spanish press in the run-up to last year’s World Cup that he preferred the atmosphere in England. He enjoyed the fact that training was behind closed doors, that fans were more supportive and that he could enjoy life with a certain amount of peace that would not be afforded to him if he were playing in Spain.

De Gea’s silence does appear to be undermining him though. The Spaniard by all accounts did not run to the media to ‘engineer’ a move but by keeping his counsel he allowed others to set the agenda.

Oddly enough, by not speaking up he effectively left Real Madrid and his agent to sort out the transfer. If he had just come out and said he wanted a move United would have been forced onto the negotiating table. Instead to his cost he found out how much Real Madrid and Florentino Pérez really wanted him.

As it stands De Gea will have to see out his contract at United.   It could be an uncomfortable 12-months for De Gea. Should he concede any sloppy goals the immediate reaction will be that the Spaniard’s heart and mind is in Madrid rather than at Old Trafford. Perhaps it’s fortunate that Euro 2016 is not too far away as he will need to keep his focus and perform in order to usurp Casillas as Spain’s No. 1.

For now De Gea will need to win over those who may have been put off by his attempts to secure a move to Real Madrid. The Old Trafford faithful generally support their players so he should find himself backed by the majority of fans, his teammates may have sympathy but he’ll most certainly have to get back into the good books of Louis van Gaal.

There’s also the added conundrum for De Gea that Real Madrid didn’t attempt to make a formal bid until the final few hours of the Spanish transfer window. He can reasonably ask if Los Merengues really wanted him why didn’t they make a bid earlier and agree a deal? He may be a galactico in name perhaps but not in status.

No matter the outcome there aren’t any real big winners in this saga, as all the key players will have lost something. United will lose a world-class goalkeeper next season for nothing without receiving what they truly wanted in return. Florentino Pérez comes out of this drama looking just as competent as Ed Woodward whilst undermining his coach and goalkeeper. As for De Gea he can sign for Real on a free next season but he’ll know that for all of Madrid’s bluster the top brass don’t really consider him worth pushing the boat out for. Whoever wins…they lose.

I suppose it’s too much to ask to be spared a sequel. Real Madrid, Gareth Bale and Manchester United never seem too far from each other in terms of gossip regardless of whether the transfer window is open or shut.

Alien vs. Predator: Requiem anyone?

*In case you’re wondering the Killer Bunny of Caerbannog is Daniel Levy.


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