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Saturday 3 December 2016

Real Madrid set to pay De Gea to stay at Old Trafford

Manchester United's David de Gea celebrates after the final whistle during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA Wire)
Manchester United's David de Gea celebrates after the final whistle during the Barclays Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool (Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

Reports in Spain have suggested that Real Madrid are offering Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea €5m to stay at Old Trafford for another season and then sign for the Spanish club on a free transfer next summer after allowing his contract to run down.

United manager Louis van Gaal last night confirmed that Victor Valdes, last season's second-choice keeper, would be sold - the clear implication being that De Gea would stay.

"He does not fit our philosophy," said Van Gaal of former Barcelona star Valdes, amid rumours that the Spaniard had refused to play for the reserves last season.

'Marca' said an agreement had been reached with De Gea, which would see him receive the equivalent of a year's salary at Real because he would not be there next season.

Real have topped Forbes' list of the world's most valuable sports teams for a third straight year with a value of £2.08bn.

United drop from third last year to fifth but remain England's most valuable club at £1.98bn.

Meanwhile, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has challenged Chuba Akpom to show he is ready for a regular place in the first team squad after the 19-year-old forward netted a hat-trick in the 4-0 win over a Singapore Select XI in the Asia Trophy.

Akpom made a handful of appearances for the Gunners last season, before ending the campaign on loan at Nottingham Forest.

The England youth international caught the eye during pre-season tour opener, putting Arsenal in front on 30 minutes.

Midfielder Jack Wilshere added the second from the penalty spot on the hour, before Akpom also netted from the spot on 76 minutes and then quickly completed his treble with a powerful header.

"Chuba is a young player and it can lift his confidence. Let's not forget it's a friendly. He's a good talent, but he has to work and show that in (the big) games.

"I sent him out on loan last year because I thought he needed that. This pre-season, during the season I plan to keep him with us."

Wilshere, looking to get some much-needed game time following last season's injury problems, was deployed in the No 10 role.

Arsenal will face Everton in the final on Saturday after the Toffees defeated Stoke 5-4 on penalties after their game had ended goalless.

Phil Jagielka converted the decisive spot-kick in the shootout.

Dutch midfielder Marco van Ginkel, on loan from Chelsea as part of the deal that took goalkeeper Asmir Begovic the other way, was the only man to miss from the spot.

Everton appeared the fitter of the two sides in an absorbing match that became more open as the teams tired.

Record signing Romelu Lukaku was a constant menace to the Stoke backline but the Belgian was guilty of wasting a number of chances, the worst coming in the 90th minute when he scuffed his shot wide of Jakob Haugaard's goal after wriggling free of his markers.

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