Senior figures at Old Trafford are yet to be contacted by their Real counterparts over De Gea, but the Spanish club are expected to make a confirmed bid for the 24-year-old next week following his participation in Spain’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Belarus in Borisov on Sunday.
And although United will resist any attempts by Real to sign De Gea for a reduced fee due to the former Atlético Madrid goalkeeper having just a year to run on his Old Trafford contract, the admission by manager Louis van Gaal last month that a list of replacements has already been drawn up has given Real the confidence that a deal can be negotiated with United.
Real are expected to make an opening offer in the region of £20 million for De Gea, who arrived at United in an £18.3m deal from Atlético in the summer of 2011.
But with United having paid £24m for a then-29-year-old Robin van Persie in August 2012, despite the forward having just a year to run on his Arsenal contract, Real may be forced to offer close to £30m to persuade United to sell De Gea, who has rejected a new deal worth £200,000-a-week to stay at Old Trafford.
Real believe that United will ultimately sell De Gea for the right price and that Van Gaal will seek a swift resolution to negotiations in order for the Dutchman to secure a suitable replacement capable of challenging Víctor Valdés, the former Barcelona goalkeeper, for the No 1 spot next season.
But with Real due to fly to Melbourne on July 13 for the first leg of the club’s pre-season tour of Australia and China, new manager Benítez is determined to have De Gea in place before the squad departs in order for the player to be fully involved in preparations for next season.