Manchester United insist goalkeeper David de Gea will not be frozen out of the team even if he refuses to sign a new contract.
Reports in Spain have claimed De Gea is worried about being left out of the side after his move to Real Madrid collapsed on transfer deadline day, leaving the 24-year-old at Old Trafford at least until January and probably until next summer.
The keeper was sidelined by manager Louis van Gaal during August while the uncertainty over his future continued, but the club say De Gea will now be treated just like any other member of the squad.
A United spokesman said:
“Those reports are absolute rubbish, the team will always be picked solely on merit.”
De Gea’s current United contract expires at the end of the season and there is little expectation at the club that he will sign a new one, as he will be a free agent come June and able to sign a lucrative deal with a new club – almost certainly Real.
Reports in Spain had suggested that De Gea may not get a fair crack of the whip for United, something that would be a big problem for him at international level for Spain with the Euro 2016 finals next summer.
United are convinced, however, that De Gea will maintain his professionalism and compete for a first-team place against Argentina keeper Sergio Romero.
Van Gaal had explained his absence from the team during August by saying he was not in the right frame of mind to play while a transfer to Madrid remained a possibility.
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