By Spain correspondent Miguel de Souza
Real Madrid have told Manchester United they are willing to pay £21.8million for David de Gea, Football Insider sources understand.
But the Premier League giants want a fee closer to £25m for the goalkeeper as the likelihood grows that he will join Real within weeks.
As reported by Football Insider, the two clubs have opened talks about a deal that will take De Gea to the Bernabeu. The transfer could be completed once he returns from international duty following Spain’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus on Sunday.
With reports in Spain claiming that De Gea has already agreed personal terms with Real, United are resigned to losing their player of the season.
United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted that his club are identifying replacements for the former Atletico Madrid man, with Hugo Lloris of Tottenham, Petr Cech of Chelsea and Samir Handanovi of Inter Milan believed to be among their targets.
Real have identified De Gea as Iker Casillas’ successor, with the long-time Bernabeu No1 expected to leave the club this summer.
United have made De Gea a string of offers in an attempt to tie him down to a deal that extends his contract beyond the summer of 2016, with the latest believed to be worth a basic £220,000-a-week plus top-up bonuses.
Speaking last month, Van Gaal admitted that United have begun the process of considering replacements for De Gea in the event that he leaves Old Trafford this summer.
“We know who already shall be the next goalkeeper,” the Dutchman said. “We have a list of goalkeepers who can replace him because we have to be organised also, not only for that position but every position. We want him to stay so hopefully he shall sign.”