By Manchester correspondent Alex Stevens
Louis van Gaal is preparing to recall David de Gea for Manchester United’s crunch clash against Liverpool on Saturday, Football Insider sources understand.
The United manager will select the Spaniard from the start against his team’s rivals if he is convinced there are no lingering concerns about the goalkeeper’s rustiness and focus.
De Gea made his first competitive start for almost four months in Spain’s 1-0 Euro 2016 qualifier win away to Macedonia on Tuesday night, which is likely to have a significant bearing on United’s plans for the coming weekend.
The 24-year-old had not played a senior match since 17 May and was omitted from the United squad for the team’s first six matches this season because Van Gaal felt he had been distracted by Real Madrid’s attempts to prise him from Old Trafford.
Football Insider revealed last week that De Gea expects to be recalled to the United team after his dream move collapsed because the Spanish club failed to submit the paperwork in time before the transfer deadline.
United manager Louis van Gaal and his goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek will have noted that Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque selected De Gea ahead of Iker Casillas.
Sources have said that De Gea is now ready to put the Real Madrid saga behind him, knuckle down and reclaim the Old Trafford No1 spot.
Van Gaal and Hoek will have to rebuild their relationships with the Spaniard following the discord that dates back to the end of last season when De Gea rejected a £220,000-a-week contract to agree personal terms with Real.
Football Insider understands that Van Gaal and Hoek will have no problem reinstating De Gea as the No1 if they are convinced he is able to put the disappointment of the failed transfer behind him and focus on regaining the form that made him the club’s Player of the Year for the last two seasons.
Sergio Romero, who was signed on a free during the summer, has been in goal for each of United’s matches this season but there are doubts about his distribution and communication with the defenders. He was also at fault for each of Swansea’s two goals in United’s 2-1 defeat last Sunday.