Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has been dropped for Saturday’s Premier League opener against Tottenham Hotspur because he is not focused enough, manager Louis van Gaal said on Friday.
De Gea’s future at Old Trafford looks increasingly uncertain amid interest from Real Madrid. And the Spain international, who has a year to run on his contract, 'cannot manage the situation', according to van Gaal.
The manager refused to say who would play instead, but there is a possibility that Sam Johnstone may be called up for his club debut. Johnstone, 22, played more minutes on United’s pre-season tour than any of the other four goalkeepers on the club’s books.
Victor Valdes is out of favour after van Gaal alleged that he refused to play in an Under-21 match, while Anders Lindegaard looks likely to leave on a free transfer.
New signing Sergio Romero, brought in this summer after being released by Sampdoria, is an experienced alternative. Van Gaal must decide whether he is ready to throw in Romero, who did not play for United at all in the pre-season.
The manager said, "We have problems with De Gea. I don’t know what the solution is. That’s in progress. But I cannot lead this process. I can only watch and observe. I am not participating in the process."