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De Gea could be on the way out at Manchester United

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has a well-deserved reputation for ruthlessness, and the goalkeeper David De Gea could be the next player to find himself on the receiving end.

While Robin Van Persie has been scoring freely at one end, Ferguson has been concerned about the goals that De Gea has been shipping at the other. The recent match against Tottenham was a classic example of De Gea’s inconsistency. After making a string of outstanding stops to deny Tottenham, De Gea flapped at a straightforward cross in stoppage time to gift Clint Dempsey an equaliser.

Ferguson has never been shy about moving on a goalkeeper whom he doesn’t feel is up to scratch. In the past this has included the likes of Mark Bosnich, Jim Leighton and Fabien Barthez.

Ferguson’s most successful United teams have been built around a dominant goalkeeper like Peter Schmeichel or Edwin Van Der Sar. When the Dutchman retired, Ferguson looked for suitable replacements, but that search may be ongoing.

Reports in the Telegraph suggest he is ready to make a bold move for Real Madrid’s Iker Casillas. The Spanish star has been dropped recently by Jose Mourinho, although Casillas would seem rather more likely to stay at the Bernabeu than Mourinho. If Mourinho sold Casillas, he might have to think twice about ever showing his face in Madrid again.

Barcelona’s experienced Victor Valdes is refusing to renew his contract, so could also be a target for United. De Gea is regarded very highly in Spain, and both Barcelona and Real Madrid would be interested if Ferguson proved willing to let him go. De Gea is something of a celebrity in Madrid, where his pop star girlfriend, Edurne Garcia Almagro, still lives. After 18 months at United, Ferguson and United coaches are worried that he has yet to settle in English football.

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