Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has insisted that David de Gea will stay with the Red Devils despite heavy links of a move to Real Madrid.
The manager was speaking in California’s Palo Alto before Sunday’s friendly tour meeting with Los Blancos in San Jose, which Manchester United later won on penalties.
After the match United would move onto Washington DC for their final match — against FC Barcelona — on Wednesday before flying back to Manchester.
Mourinho also indicated that United had allowed de Gea, who has two years left on his terms, the freedom of choosing whether to move to Real himself.
“I can guarantee that he’s not going this season, that I can, and my feeling is it will be very difficult for him to go. Because he’s a very honest boy, very straight,” Mourinho said.
“He was contacted for a long time (by Real), the club was close, then we open 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.”
De Gea had nearly joined the Champions League winners two years ago before the transfer collapse on the final day of the 2015 summer window, and while United are bracing themselves for a further bid Mourinho’s statement could be seen as a message for Real.
“I don’t think the feeling from him [towards Real] is very good,” the Portuguese coach added. “I see him very happy and focused and working better than ever so for me 100% he stays with us.”