David de Gea moved past Peter Schmeichel on Thursday to become the overseas player with the most Manchester United appearances. 

The Spanish goalkeeper played for United for the 399th time when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side travelled to Aston Villa in the Premier League. 

It saw De Gea, who joined United from Atletico Madrid in 2011, move beyond another keeper in Schmeichel in the club's all-time list.

De Gea, 29, remains a long way behind Ryan Giggs, the man with the most United appearances regardless of nationality.

The Welshman spent his entire career at Old Trafford and played for them on 963 occasions.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer feels David de Gea has been the world's best goalkeeper for a decade.

De Gea is poised to overtake United great Peter Schmeichel as the overseas player with the most appearances for the club, having initially joined from Atletico Madrid in 2011.

A number of high-profile mistakes, including a calamitous error in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham, have led to questions over the Spain international's future as number one, especially with Dean Henderson thriving on loan at Sheffield United.

But after Schmeichel insisted De Gea is the right goalkeeper for United over the long-term, Solskjaer was in agreement.

"David has had some fantastic seasons here now and next year is his 10th," Solskjaer said ahead of United's away Premier League game against Aston Villa on Thursday.

"He has proven [former goalkeeping coach] Eric Steele right, that we believed in him. 

"He had a little bit of a tough ride early on, with the physicality of football in England, but, for me, he has been the best goalkeeper in the world over the last nine or 10 years.

"Just to work with him closely, you see he's still keen to learn, he's still working hard. 

"Richard [Hartis] coming in with Craig [Mawson] as the coaches, I think they've reignited a little bit of a spark in David and he's working really hard in training."

The back problem sustained by centre-back Victor Lindelof against Bournemouth was described as "not bad" and he may be able to play a part against Villa.

If not, Eric Bailly is likely to step in, with Solskjaer not feeling pressure to rotate his squad as he ponders whether to name an unchanged starting XI for the fourth straight top-flight game.

"There are not many that haven't played in the last two weeks," he said of his players not in that team. "They all know they are fit and available, that they are valued. It's not an issue. 

"There are so many things to play for. Trophies - the FA Cup, the Europa League - but also the top four in the league. The group is very tight knit and they all know they've got a part to play."

Peter Schmeichel has insisted David de Gea is the right goalkeeper for Manchester United and could play on for another decade.

De Gea's form has been a huge talking point, with the Spain international struggling to maintain the performances which saw him become one of the world's best goalkeepers.

The 29-year-old has made a number of high profile mistakes for United, most recently a calamitous error in a 1-1 draw with Tottenham, which drew robust criticism from Schmeichel's former team-mate Roy Keane.

However, United great Schmeichel, who De Gea will overtake as the overseas player with the most appearances for the club the next time he plays, has given the former Atletico Madrid man his full support.

"He’s been tremendous for us, there’s no doubt about that," Schmeichel told MUTV.

"He stuck it through in the most difficult period of modern-day Manchester United history. It's been up and down and, basically, he has been our best player.

"There's no doubt about that. Four out of five years being our Player of the Year. That just tells its own story about his performances for the club.

"David is our number one – he's still a young lad, by the way.

"He could play on for another 10 years. Let's back him. We should support what we have because we know what we have is really good."

Schmeichel also suggested the more attacking approach favoured by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is bound to leave De Gea more exposed.

"It's easy to just blame the goalkeeper, but I'm not going to," Schmeichel added.

"I'm trying to make a case that every goalkeeper needs to be protected and there's no doubt that the way the team is playing now, as opposed to when a team plays more defensively, the type of chances that you concede fit into David’s best skills.

"Those kind of saves we've seen came from chances created by being defensive.

"At the moment, we are attacking a lot and that leaves strikers man-to-man. It becomes like a counter-attack. These are the kind of goals we are conceding now.

"I think he needs a bit of time to adjust to the way we are playing. If you’re a goalkeeper that has been busy for three or four years, and now you're not busy, you have to change your game a little bit. You need to find new ways of keeping your concentration, of staying with the game."

Dean Henderson's loan from Manchester United to Sheffield United has been extended until the end of the season.

The 23-year-old's stay at Bramall Lane was initially supposed to run until the end of June, but with the coronavirus pandemic causing a significant delay to the season's conclusion, the Blades have successfully secured an extension.

Henderson is in his second season with Sheffield United, having helped them earn promotion to the Premier League from the Championship last term.

He has largely impressed for Chris Wilder's men in the top flight, with his performances giving rise to suggestions he could dislodge David de Gea as first-choice at Old Trafford next season.

However, his form seems to have dipped since English football's resumption earlier this month, with the Blades failing to win any of their four matches across all competitions, with Henderson featuring three times.

Henderson was ineligible as the Blades lost 3-0 at Old Trafford in their most recent Premier League match, but he was arguably at fault for Arsenal's late winner in Sunday's FA Cup quarter-final on Sunday.

Gary Neville has urged caution over the prospect of Dean Henderson becoming first-choice goalkeeper at Manchester United next season, despite David de Gea's indifferent form.

De Gea was again in the spotlight when his failure to stop Steven Bergwijn's shot allowed Tottenham to take the lead against United last Friday, though the Red Devils hit back to secure a draw from the game.

The Spain international overcame a shaky start at Old Trafford to become a cornerstone in the team during a period of transition, yet a slip in standards has raised questions over whether he should remain as number one.

Yet while Henderson has impressed in the Premier League during a loan spell at Sheffield United this season, former United defender Neville is wary of pushing the 23-year-old into the top job at Old Trafford too soon.

"David de Gea, for three or four years, was probably the best goalkeeper in the world - certainly the best in the Premier League," Neville said on Sky Sports.

"He was player of the year here and, in a very difficult period for Manchester United post Alex Ferguson, was a shining light. The only player really you would say could go into any other team in the Premier League, or the world. 

"Since that 2018 World Cup, though, he's had a real difficult time.

"What I don't buy into is that Dean Henderson at Sheffield United, obviously from Manchester United on loan, can go into that goal in front of the Stretford End and adapt to what the demands are of being a Manchester United goalkeeper. 

"It takes a special character to play in that goal. What I think David de Gea has done in the four or five year period before this last 18 months is build up a lot of credit, whereby he actually deserves a break, the idea he is given the opportunity to correct his form and get it back to where it needs to be.

"When a goalkeeper, or any player, goes through a rough patch it's mentally tough. He's at one of the biggest clubs in the world and the scrutiny is on him constantly.

"There is no escape at this club – and that is why I'd be a little bit cautious around Dean Henderson. That is a lonely old place out there to make a mistake if you're a Manchester United goalkeeper. With respect to Sheffield United, it's very different making a mistake for Sheffield United."

He continued: "To make that decision, which is a huge call, to say that Dean Henderson comes back to Old Trafford and is the number one, you're essentially dismissing David de Gea and what he's done for the club over the past seven or eight years.

"I would just urge caution on that, at this moment in time." 

Neville played with Peter Schmeichel and Edwin van der Sar during his own career, yet also saw up close how tough it can be as a goalkeeper at United.

"I've seen it before with players during my period at the club," the ex-England defender said. "We had two great goalkeepers during my time – Peter Schmeichel at the beginning and Edwin van der Sar at the end.  

"In between that, there were real challenges with goalkeepers.

"At times there were young goalkeepers who were talented but found it very difficult to cope with the scrutiny, plus the levels of concentration that are required."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Dean Henderson is a future Manchester United number one but insists David de Gea is the best goalkeeper in the world.

De Gea's form has come under scrutiny over the past two seasons and he has been culpable for each of the past two Premier League goals the Red Devils have conceded.

The Spain international saw a kick blocked into the net by Dominic Calvert-Lewin in the 1-1 draw with Everton in March and failed to stop a Steven Bergwijn shot last Friday as United were held to the same scoreline away to Tottenham, leading to heavy criticism from former captains Roy Keane and Gary Neville.

By contrast, Henderson has thrived during a loan spell with Sheffield United that is expected to be extended to cover the rest of the delayed 2019-20 season and could be stretched further to include 2020-21. 

Solskjaer has no doubt Henderson has the potential to claim a first-team spot at Old Trafford in future but has no reason to doubt De Gea for now.

"David is the best goalkeeper in the world," the United manager told reporters on Tuesday. "He has conceded two goals in games against City, Chelsea, Tottenham, Everton. We've gone on a run not conceding goals.

"Of course, the Everton one is a freak one. This one [against Spurs], he cannot save it. He makes great saves, he wins games for us, I still think he's the best goalkeeper in the world. He's not making errors you see time and time again. I'm very pleased with his work.

"I speak to David, but he's been at Man United nine years now and he's developed into a mature keeper, for me the best goalkeeper in the world. He's had fantastic seasons and I don't think it's a bad run to concede two goals in seven games against the teams we've played against. He's a mentally very strong keeper."

Solskjaer expects the formalities of Henderson's loan extension to be finalised shortly and is delighted his time with the Blades "has worked out as we wanted".

"It's a different job to be playing for Sheffield United and for Manchester United," Solskjaer said. "He's got different roles and for me, the two years he's had have been fantastic for his development. He's played with and against men, played in the Championship and plays now behind a team that play exciting football.

"And the stats show he's proved worthy of a few points with his saves. He's learning all the time, he's a passionate keeper, he's developing, he's had good coaching there and, for me, one day he'll be England number one and United number one and he needs to keep developing."

Solskjaer's men face Sheffield United at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

David de Gea's struggles at Manchester United have gone beyond the point where they can be considered a blip, according to the club's former captain Gary Neville.

The Spain international made a costly mistake against Tottenham on Friday as he failed to keep out a shot from Steven Bergwijn.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side went on to salvage a 1-1 away draw thanks to Bruno Fernandes' late penalty.

But De Gea's error prompted an astonishing rant from another ex-United skipper, Roy Keane, who branded him "overrated" and said he would have been tempted to punch the Spaniard in the dressing room.

Neville has similar concerns and feels United can no longer rely on the 29-year-old, whose problems date back to the World Cup.

"De Gea was the one player United could rely upon for the last four years but he is not the same," he said on the Gary Neville Podcast.

"He hasn't been the same for some time. When form drops for six months it's a blip but when it goes on for a year you start to worry. When it goes over two years it becomes more permanent.

"That is now a fair representation of what De Gea is as he's making lots of mistakes. Ones he would never make – he was always somebody you could completely rely upon. 

"The reception he's got in Spain has affected him. He's even been booed by Spanish fans when he's wearing the Spanish shirt. 

"In the World Cup in 2018 he really struggled and from that he's doubted himself."

Neville believes the problems for De Gea – who joined United in 2011 – are in the mind, urging him to get back to basics and work harder than he has done at any other point of his career.

"It can only be a confidence thing," said Neville. "Mentally he's not quite the same. The arms, legs and body are the same – it's got to be the mind.

"He's got to go back to basics. There's only one thing you can do when you're having a tough time: work, work harder than you have ever done in your life. 

"What will happen is that you will tell yourself the amount of work you put in you deserve to be good again. That means coming in at 7.30am and leaving at 6pm if needs be.

"He has to do something to stop the erosion. Mistakes like that can happen on the first game back but it's happening far too much over the past couple of years."

Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Tottenham means they are unbeaten in 12 matches in all competitions, scoring 30 and conceding three in that time. 

They have progressed through that run mostly without Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford, two standout stars who returned to action in north London on Friday only because the coronavirus pandemic gave them time to recover from injuries. 

They are still fifth in the Premier League, two points behind Chelsea having played a game more, meaning hopes of a Champions League return are very much alive regardless of their Europa League campaign, which resumes in August. 

By all accounts, those are satisfactory truths about Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side. But an emboldened attack since the January signings of Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo and a stronger defensive unit have glossed over a glaring problem: they can no longer rely on David de Gea. 

Before Friday, the last league goal United had conceded – the only one they had conceded since January 22 – came in the 1-1 draw at Everton in March. With his first meaningful act of the game, De Gea dithered on the ball and let Dominic Calvert-Lewin block his kick into the United net. He was rescued by Fernandes' equaliser. 

When he was United manager, Jose Mourinho hinted De Gea could sometimes lose concentration when the action is far from his goal, and you have to wonder if he had told his Spurs players to test the Spain international – described by Roy Keane as the most overrated goalkeeper he has seen “in a long time” during a half-time tirade – at the earliest opportunity.

The home side took only their second shot on target after 27 minutes of mostly United control, but it was enough to beat De Gea. Steven Bergwijn ran straight towards Harry Maguire and left him for dead – a deeply humbling moment for the world's most expensive centre-back – and shot fiercely but directly at the United goalkeeper. He could not keep it out. 

De Gea would then make a fine one-handed save from Son Heung-min to various social media proclamations that he had "made amends", which is a goalkeeping misconception. A striker can miss a chance at 0-0 and make up for it with a breakthrough goal a minute later, but De Gea's good save did not erase the fact United were behind. Such is life for a keeper. 

Whether or not Mourinho planned for a Dea Gea error, he would certainly have accepted a 1-0 half-time lead. The fact he builds his team around Moussa Sissoko rather than Harry Kane might not enthrall the viewer, but it does make Spurs a troublesome side to break down, something United have struggled to do against deep-lying defences all season. 

That's what makes Pogba such a potentially pivotal player in their final eight matches. He came on for 27 minutes, his first action since last December, and his first act was a sliding tackle to rob Serge Aurier near the Spurs box. Put the questions on his future to one side for now; a World Cup winner who has made only eight league appearances all season just wants to play. 

With Marcus Rashford ineffective and Anthony Martial anonymous, it was Pogba and Fernandes, paired in midfield at last, who carried United's threat. Fittingly, it was their combination that brought about the equaliser, Pogba's quick feet leading Eric Dier into a cumbersome challenge and Fernandes thwacking home the penalty. 

Doubts have persisted about De Gea for the best part of two years and the debate over his future as United's number one will continue. What is certain is United need Pogba's game-changing influence if they are to make sure any future blunders at the other end do not derail their season.

Roy Keane said he was "sick to death" of David de Gea and "staggered" by Harry Maguire after their part in Steven Bergwijn's first-half goal for Tottenham against Manchester United.

The Red Devils went 1-0 down in north London in their first Premier League match since the coronavirus pandemic forced the competition to be suspended in March.

A simple long ball headed away by Luke Shaw came to Bergwijn, who ran straight past Maguire before firing a shot at De Gea that the United keeper failed to parry away.

Former captain Keane was left furious with the manner of the goal and claimed he would not have allowed them to travel home with the team if he were still playing.

"I'm shocked at that goal," he said at half-time on Sky Sports. "To give away that goal… I'm fuming here watching Manchester United.

"I can't believe Shaw, heading the ball up in the air and then running forward. I'm staggered at Maguire, staggered that an international player can just get done like that.

"And I'm sick to death of this goalkeeper. I would be fighting him at half-time. I would be swinging punches at that guy.

"This is a standard save for an established international goalkeeper. I am flabbergasted.

"Maguire and De Gea – I wouldn't even let them on the bus after the match. Get a taxi back to Manchester. They are established international players. We can analyse this until the cows come home. You just do your job.

"We are trying to get in the top four here, not win leagues. God forbid about winning trophies. I'm disgusted with it. Maguire, De Gea, you should hang your heads in shame."

Keane added of De Gea, who made a fine one-handed save to stop Son Heung-min making it 2-0: "He is the most overrated goalkeeper I have seen in a long time."

Manuel Neuer is set for three more seasons at Bayern Munich after penning a contract extension until 2023.

The Germany international has established himself as one of the greats of the modern era and is well-placed to win an eighth consecutive Bundesliga title.

The 34-year-old also counts the 2012-13 Champions League and 2014 World Cup among his career honours, but recent seasons have raised questions over whether he remains the same peerless operator he was during those mid-decade glory days.

Alexander Nubel's pending arrival from Schalke suggests Bayern are keen to insure themselves against any dip in form from their club captain over the coming years, so it feels a good time to ask - is Neuer still an elite goalkeeper when compared to contemporaries widely considered to be at the top of their trade?

HEADING BACK IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION

Sunday's 2-0 win at Union Berlin saw Neuer chalk up his 11th Bundesliga clean sheet of the season.

Aside from the 2017-18 campaign, when injuries restricted him to three top-flight outings, he has reached double figures for shutouts every year of his senior career – dating back to 2006-07 when he managed 13 from 27 games at former club Schalke.

However, having stopped around four of every five shots for the majority of his Bayern days, Neuer's save percentage plummeted to 59.7 last season, while his 23 goals conceded outstripped Opta's expected goals on target (xGOT) number of 20.1.

xGOT gives an indication of the number of goals a goalkeeper should concede based upon the quality of shot faced.

This term, Neuer has those numbers in the right order once more. Although 26 let in is already his highest figure in the Bundesliga since his final season at Schalke (a whopping 44 in 2010-11), his xGOT number is 29.5 and his overall save percentage is back up to a more respectable 70.1.

TER STEGEN PRESSING A CASE FOR DIE MANNSCHAFT?

Having stood apart as Germany's number one for the best part of a decade, Neuer has seen Barcelona's Marc-Andre ter Stegen make an increasingly strong case to displace him in the national team.

Neuer's fitness woes coupled with a disappointing 2018 World Cup performance played a part, while Ter Stegen has arguably established himself as Barca's most important player not named Lionel Messi.

This campaign, Neuer is statistically out-performing his Germany rival. Ter Stegen has conceded 29 times with an xGOT reading of 26, while he has managed eight clean sheets from 26 LaLiga matches.

Last season, Ter Stegen's efforts made for very impressive reading, however, with 16 clean sheets and 32 goals conceded in 35 top-flight matches.

His xGOT was up at 38.3 and his save percentage was 72.7 – better than 65.5 this time around.

Both men have shown themselves to be fine proponents of the modern art of sweeper keeping, although Neuer is more active in this regard of late. According to Opta, Ter Stegen has five "keeper sweepings" to his name in each of the past two seasons, with Neuer making nine and 17.

OBLAK THE LEADER OF THE PACK

Looking beyond Germany's number one and two goalkeepers, there is a clear standout performer.

Jan Oblak's virtuoso display at Anfield as Atletico Madrid ended Liverpool's Champions League defence in March was enough to hearten any keeping enthusiast over the intervening barren months.

Such heroics are not unusual for the Slovenia star, who conceded 27 goals despite an xGOT number of 40.3 in 2018-19.

Oblak finished with 20 clean sheets last season, a figure Neuer touched in the back-to-back 2014-15 and 2015-16 campaigns at Bayern. Remarkably, Oblak had 24 league shutouts (and a save percentage of 81.8) in the latter, while he amassed 22 in 2017-18.

This time around, he only has 11 and his save ratio is below 75 per cent for the first time in his Atleti career, and 21 goals conceded compared to xGOT 22.3 has levelled out.

Oblak's two keeper sweepings in 2019-20 underlines his reputation as more of an "old school" goalkeeper, rather than someone accustomed to raiding out of their penalty area.

DE GEA COMING OFF HIS PEAK

Manchester United's David de Gea is also a player who would be counted as being at odds to the new wave of players between the posts, although a dip in his imperious levels has left the Spain international facing similar questions to Neuer over the past couple of seasons.

If United's second-place finish in the 2017-18 Premier League was one of Jose Mourinho's greatest achievements, it certainly ranks as one of De Gea's. He saved in excess of 80 per cent of shots and kept 18 clean sheets, conceding 28 times in 37 matches.

De Gea has already let in more in 2019-20 (30), while he shipped 54 in an increasingly error-strewn 2018-19. Although, perhaps it is as much a case of performances reverting to a mean and not bailing out some haphazard defending in front of him.

In the past two seasons, United's expected goals against (xG) – based upon the quality of chances afforded to opposition players – read 51.2 and 30.2.

SAFE HANDS AT THE BACK OF KLOPP'S MACHINE

Liverpool have transformed from great entertainers to a relentless winning machine since Alisson arrived from Roma in 2018, with Adrian's flimsy showing against Atletico in European competition serving as an uncomfortable reminder of the recent past for the Reds.

Able to build from the back, Brazil's number one has 29 keeper sweeping in a 58-game Premier League career, while also dealing well in the old currency of clean sheets, tallying up 31 in the competition.

Undoubtedly well protected by a defence led by Virgil van Dijk, Alisson is reliable when called upon. His 2019-20 save ratio is up to 80.4 from 77.1 per cent.

Last season, he out-performed his xGOT of 27.5 by letting in just 22, although 11 conceded is slightly higher than a staggeringly low 9.7 xGOT in 2019-20.

That number drops from an xG against of 17.5, suggesting Alisson – who missed an early chunk of the current season due to a calf injury – has also benefitted from wasteful finishing by opponents during Liverpool's march towards the title.

Liverpool have reportedly set their sights on Kalidou Koulibaly, while the Premier League leaders could lose out to Manchester United on another target.

Koulibaly has regularly been linked with a move away from Napoli, where he has developed into one of the world's best defenders.

Could a Virgil van Dijk-Koulibaly central defensive pairing be on the cards at Anfield?

 

TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL TARGET KOULIBALY

Liverpool are targeting Napoli defender Koulibaly and contacts have already been made, according to Tuttomercatoweb.

The parties are due to speak again in the coming weeks, according to the report, with Koulibaly's asking price likely to drop from €100million (£87.1m) due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The report also says Liverpool would likely sell defender Joel Matip if they landed Koulibaly.

 

ROUND-UP

- Another player Liverpool are linked to, Timo Werner, could head elsewhere. The Manchester Evening News reports the RB Leipzig forward is being considered by Manchester United.

- Manchester City will not give up on Milan Skriniar. CalcioMercato reports a €70m (£61m) offer could be enough for the Premier League giants to land the Inter defender.

- Amid debate about whether Dean Henderson, who is on loan at Sheffield United, could replace David de Gea as Manchester United's number one, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer apparently has no doubt. The Daily Star reports the United manager has told De Gea he will remain his first-choice goalkeeper for the foreseeable future.

- Tottenham midfielder Tanguy Ndombele has been linked with a move away. Sport reports Barcelona are continuing to track the France international, who was apparently a target for the LaLiga side while he was still at Lyon.

- Mohammed Salisu is drawing attention from several European clubs. Marca reports Atletico Madrid are in pole position to land the Real Valladolid and Ghana defender.

David de Gea described his almost decade-long attachment to Manchester United as a "dream" and plans to remain at Old Trafford for a long time.

De Gea, 29, joined United from Atletico Madrid in 2011 for a reported £19million, a British record fee for a goalkeeper at the time.

After an initially tricky settling-in period, De Gea established himself as an indispensable part of the team and one of the world's best at his position.

A move to Real Madrid fell through in August 2015, but the Spaniard swiftly signed a new contract after that and then agreed an extension last September, keeping him at the club until 2023.

But De Gea's form over the past few years has not been as consistent as some might expect, giving rise to suggestions from a section of supporters that United might be better off giving Dean Henderson – on loan at Sheffield United – a chance next season.

De Gea does not seem concerned about his future with the club, however.

"Just to be a part of this club is amazing. So, imagine, [nearly] 10 years, it's like a dream," De Gea said in a United Hangout.

"It's great to play games with this club, so I hope I can be here more years, many years."

Before European football came to a standstill due to the coronavirus pandemic, United had hit their best run of form since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed manager on a full-time basis last March.

A 6-0 thrashing of Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup at the end of January began an 11-match unbeaten run across all competitions, including a pair of wins over Manchester City, an away triumph at Chelsea and 5-0 Europa League wins against Club Brugge and LASK.

Bruno Fernandes' arrival has made a telling difference and De Gea acknowledged the Portugal midfielder's influence, also pointing out United still have key players in Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba to return from injury when they return to action.

"I think the whole team improved a lot," De Gea added of United, who sit just three points adrift of the top four. "We were in a good moment. I think we were in very good, top form.

"We didn't concede many goals, and of course with Bruno he brings a lot of quality. He's a clever player, a top midfielder, the team improves with him and it was a pity that everything stopped because we were in a good moment.

"But hopefully with some players that were injured will be fit when it all starts again, so it will be a good challenge for everyone."

Community of Madrid president Isabel Diaz Ayuso thanked David de Gea for his help in fighting the coronavirus amid reports the Manchester United goalkeeper donated €300,000.

Spain have been hit hard by the coronavirus, reporting more than 57,700 cases and 4,365 deaths.

The Madrid-born De Gea reportedly donated €300,000 to the Community of Madrid and Ayuso offered her thanks to the Spain international.

"Thank you, @D_DeGea!" she wrote on Twitter.

"The great help you have provided to @comunidadmadrid, it will be key to combat COVID-19.

"Eternally grateful, proud of you."

There have been more than 529,000 cases of coronavirus worldwide, with deaths nearing 24,000.

It has brought sport to a standstill, with De Gea's United fifth in the Premier League when it was suspended.

A fax machine prevented Real Madrid from signing David De Gea from Manchester United in 2015.

Madrid have continued to be linked with a move for the Spain international, despite bringing in Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea in 2018,

And the LaLiga giants could revisit the idea of signing De Gea at the end of the season amid doubts over the United goalkeeper's future in Manchester.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID TO RELAUNCH DE GEA BID

Real Madrid are planning a fresh bid to sign Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, according to The Sun.

De Gea, who almost joined Madrid in 2015 but a fax problem scuppered the deal, is under pressure at United and is facing an uncertain future.

With Dean Henderson – on loan at Sheffield United – looming as a serious threat to De Gea's position, Madrid are reportedly ready to prise the Spain international to the Santiago Bernabeu, despite Thibaut Courtois' presence.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Daily Mail says Juventus are willing to splash the cash to lure Zinedine Zidane back to Turin as head coach. Zidane – who won two Serie A titles among other honours during his five years at Juve – is in charge of Madrid but has been linked with Bianconeri in the past.

Madrid are lining up an €80m bid for Napoli and Spain star Fabian Ruiz, reports Mundo Deportivo. LaLiga rivals Barcelona are also reportedly interested.

Arsenal are resigned to losing star forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, claims the Daily Mail.

- FCInterNews.it says Inter could move for Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik at the end of the season. Milik, who will become a free agent in June, has been negotiating a new deal with Napoli.

Borussia Dortmund are interested in Paris Saint-Germain full-back Thomas Meunier, according to Les Sports. It comes with Achraf Hakimi set to return to parent club Madrid following a two-year loan spell.

- L'Equipe revealed Mauro Icardi is unhappy at PSG. The Argentina striker is on loan from Inter, while Juve are reportedly eyeing a move for him at season's end.

United are open to Paul Pogba leaving the club as PSG and former club Juve plot moves, reports The Sun.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed Paul Pogba will be back in full training next week but is unsure when the midfielder will make his Manchester United comeback.

The France midfielder has been out since out the Boxing Day victory over Newcastle United after undergoing ankle surgery.

United boss Solskjaer stated on Wednesday that Pogba is closing in on a return amid constant speculation over the World Cup-winner's future.

"Paul is still working with the physios outside, he won't be training with the first team until next week, so then let's see how long it will take," Solskjaer said.

"But he'll need some time to train to get his fitness back."

Solskjaer will be unable to call upon winger Dan James (back) for the FA Cup fifth-round tie at Derby County on Thursday, while right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka could miss out due to a knock.

"Dan James, Marcus [Rashford] and Paul are still out and I think Aaron might be struggling, he's had a test today but he struggled in the last game against Everton, so he might be out," said the United manager.

The Norwegian gave nothing away when asked if Sergio Romero, the regular goalkeeper in cup competitions, would replace David de Gea when United come up against their record goalscorer Wayne Rooney.

De Gea's blunder gifted Dominic Calvert-Lewin the opening goal in a 1-1 Premier League draw at Everton on Sunday, but Solskjaer felt he redeemed himself with a save soon after his early howler.

Asked if Romero would start, he said: "It's not a given. Sergio has done well in the games he's played but I have no qualms about playing David in every game, because what he's done and his performances I think have been great.

"The save, just after [the mistake], I was 100 per cent sure he was offside, Calvert-Lewin, but he wasn't, so that was a point-saving save for us, so he's making amends."

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