Jose Mourinho has ruled out a summer move for David De Gea from Manchester United to Real Madrid after claiming it is “100 percent” that he stays.
De Gea, who will share the goalkeeping duties with Sergio Romero in Sunday’s International Champions Cup clash against Madrid in Santa Clara, has been persistently linked with a move to Real for the past three years, with a transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu dramatically collapsing in the final minutes of the 2015 summer window.
Senior figures at United have been confident in their ability to keep the Madrid-born De Gea, believing that Real lack the finances this summer to launch a bid.
And United manager Mourinho, speaking at a prematch news conference, insisted that he fully expects the “happy and focused” De Gea to remain at Old Trafford this summer.
“I can guarantee that he’s not going this season,” Mourinho said. “And my feeling is it will be very difficult for him to go.
“He’s a very honest boy, very straight. He was contacted for a long time, the club [Real] was close, then we open [negotiations] because I always have this feeling of when a player has a desire to go, I don’t like to stop players to go because in the end you don’t get what you expect from them if they want to move and they don’t.
“So we opened it and then they decided to close [negotations] and I don’t think the feeling from him [toward Real] is very, very good.
“I see him very happy and focused and working better than ever, so for me, 100 percent, he stays with us.”
Mourinho, who will hand appearances to Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe, Demetri Mitchell and Andreas Pereira against the European champions, confirmed he would give De Gea and Romero 45 minutes each on Sunday.
And he added that Argentina No. 1 Romero has made De Gea a better keeper simply by putting pressure on the United number one last season.
“I’m impressed with Romero, but also with David,” he said. “The best thing that could happen for David was the way Romero played last season.
“Until then, David was clearly a safe man, a safe choice, but after what Romero did last season, David is thinking and training in a better way and is much better than before.
“To have both at the level they can be helps me and helps the players. They are different goalkeepers and both very good.”
Midfielder Ander Herrera also urged Manchester United to do all they can to keep De Gea at Old Trafford, saying they should not even contemplate cashing in on the goalkeeper, given their Premier League ambitions this season.
“If you lose the top three in any position, like David is, like [Paul] Pogba is, like Romelu Lukaku is, like Marcus Rashford can be, it is a great loss,” Herrera told multiple English newspapers. “We don’t want to lose them, we want to keep them, and David is in the top three. For me, he’s the best in the world, so I want to keep him here at United.
“He is a goalkeeper who can give you points. That is very important. I want to keep him here, to play with him, because he’s a fantastic keeper and also my friend, and I think you can see he’s very focused on Manchester United.
“Last season we won three trophies, but we didn’t fight for the nicest one, the Premier League.
“Last season we had players to take us to the next level, that’s why we won three trophies. But we want to fight for the Premier League. I think we had a very good season, a successful season, the last game was a really important game [winning the Europa League and qualifying for the Champions League], but we won it, so we can say we had a very good season.
“I don’t like to compare the players between last season and this one, just that we have the same ideas, the same manager, we are going to work the same way, but the draws we had at home, we have to improve that.”