Monday 24 October 2016

Confusion reigns over Man United goalkeepers as Valdes looks set to leave

LVG omits Valdes from squad as Real prepare De Gea bid will stay

David de Gea
David de Gea
Louis van Gaal

Manchester United are in a state of confusion over their goalkeepers as Real Madrid prepare a deal for first choice stopper David de Gea while the club's second choice keeper Victor Valdes was left out of the club's pre-season tour of America.

De Gea, who has so far refused to sign the new deal that was offered to him earlier this year, has 12 months to run on his current deal and, with the departure of Iker Casillas from Real Madrid to Porto, it could lead to the Spanish giants mounting a bid to sign the United keeper.

United could be content to let the 24-year-old - nicknamed 'Dave the Save' by United fans - see out the remainder of his deal and move for free next year.

Valdes, meanwhile, was a surprise omission from the 26-man squad who flew to the States on Monday and manager Louis van Gaal's axe for the highly decorated keeper suggests his United career is over.

As Van Gaal's new-look squad settled into their Seattle base, it was confirmed by the club that the Spaniard was "not selected" for the trip.

Instead of Valdes, Van Gaal took De Gea, who is still coveted by Real Madrid, long-term deputy Anders Lindegaard and 22-year-old Sam Johnstone, who was on loan to Preston last season and was expected to make a permanent move to Deepdale.


Valdes (33) was signed by his former Barcelona mentor Van Gaal last January after being invited to Old Trafford in October to recover from the cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered in the final months of his Barca career.

The Spanish international was given an 18-month United contract and had been deputy to De Gea last season. He made his Reds' senior debut when coming on for the injured No.1 against Arsenal and then playing in the final match of the season at Hull.

However, to further confuse matters, Valdes tweeted yesterday: "After a Hard Training Session this morning, i am working hard for this Season! Come on You Reds!!!!"

Valdes had been linked with a move to linked with a move to Turkish club Antalyspor, whose president declared that the Spaniard wanted to leave Old Trafford. But Valdes' agent Gines Carvajal rubbished the idea and claimed the Spaniard was committed to United.

"My player has no interest in a move to Antalyaspor," he said before the squad announcement.

"His only wishes are to remain at Manchester United and he has another year left on his contract. We don't see any reason for him to leave the club."

Valdes was even seen as a Reds No.1 if the De Gea switch to Real went through.

However, the axe from the pre-season party suggests Valdes' could be on his way.

Van Gaal, meanwhile, insisted that he had made a crucial signing with the acquisition of experienced midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger from Bayern Munich.

"Bastian is, of course, no stranger to me," Van Gaal said. "I worked with him during my time at Bayern Munich and I am truly delighted he is joining Manchester United.

"His record speaks for itself; he has won every honour at club level and was a major part of the successful Germany World Cup-winning team last summer.

"Bastian is the ultimate professional and there is no doubting his talent and his ability to control games. He brings a wealth of experience and is an excellent addition to our squad."

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