By Spain correspondent Miguel de Souza
Real Madrid are preparing to make a last-ditch bid to sign David de Gea, Football Insider sources understand.
Manchester United are bracing themselves for a late offer from the Spanish giants for the 24-year-old goalkeeper.
United expect a formal bid from Real before midnight on Monday, which is when the Spain transfer window closes, a full 18 hours before the Premier League window shuts.
United want a world-record fee for a goalkeeper that exceeds the £32million that Juventus spent on Gianluigi Buffon and have privately insisted they will not accept anything below this figure.
Real’s bid is likely to come in at below that figure, which could leave United with a decision to make on whether to offload De Gea, who has been frozen out of the United squad in the opening weeks of the season.
Louis van Gaal has insisted that he will not select the unsettled goalkeeper again until the window closes, although the possibility is growing that the manager will not have the opportunity to name him in the team after Sunday’s trip to Swansea.
De Gea had hoped to be a Real player by now but with United but stalemate has ensued as the two superpowers have been unable to agree a deal that satisfies both clubs.
De Gea has agreed personal terms with Real and has his heart set on a return to Spain with one year remaining on his United contract.
The goalkeeper told United at the end of last season that he would not sign the £220,000-a-week contract offered by the club and that he wanted to join Real.
Given that he is available on a free transfer next year, De Gea knows he is in line for a hefty signing-on fee if he moves to Madrid next season.