Real Madrid prepare 'cut-price' De Gea bid

SoccerBy Kevin Palmer
De Gea set to replace Casillas at Real Madrid
De Gea set to replace Casillas at Real Madrid

Manchester United are determined not to be bullied into a cut-price sale of David de Gea, amid reports that Real Madrid are set to table an initial offer of around £18m for the Spanish keeper.

With De Gea having just one-year left on his United contract, Real Madrid are refusing to consider an inflated bid for the keeper United signed from their city rivals Atletico for £17.8m in the summer of 2011.

Speculation is mounting that Iker Casillas' days as the Real Madrid No.1 are coming to an end and De Gea is widely tipped to be one of Rafael Benitez's first major signings since taking over as the club's head coach last week.

Yet United are not be prepared to sanction a swift sale if Real Madrid do not offer a suitable fee for a player who has developed into one of the top keepers in the world.

It is also understood that United are keen to line up a replacement for De Gea before they give the green light to any transfer, with the now reigned to the reality that the 24-year-old keeper will not sign a new deal to stay at Old Trafford.

While United boss Louis van Gaal is an admirer of Spanish keeper Victor Valdes after he signed the former Barcelona keeper earlier this year, the Old Trafford club are eager to bring in a proven keeper this summer as they prepare for De Gea's exit.

They have not given up hope of persuading Petr Cech to swap Chelsea for Manchester, despite his stated eagerness to stay in London and possibly seal a move to Arsenal.

Meanwhile, United have been given plenty of encouragement that Tottenham keeper Hugo Lloris is keen to move to United this summer, but Spurs are insisting they will hang on to their French No.1 stopper.