The archetypical summer transfer saga, David De Gea's on/off move back to Madrid has been something which all football fans just want to see put to bed at this stage. It seems certain that the Spanish keeper will be playing for Real Madrid at some stage in the future but the big question is, will it be this year or next year?
After Louis Van Gaal dropped him from his squad for the game of the season, it looked like Madrid had finally got their way. However, here we are less than a week later and reports have emerged that De Gea is in line to retake his place in the Man United starting XI for the trip to face Aston Villa on Friday night.
The Telegraph are reporting that United are growing ever surer that Madrid will not stump up the world record fee that would see De Gea head to the Bernabeu this summer. Madrid's only confirmed big of the summer has been for around £20 million and with United wanting in excess of the £32.6 million Juventus paid for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001, it looks like the stalemate will not be broken.
The doubts over De Gea's future led Van Gaal to take the decision to start Sergio Romero against Spurs on Saturday. The Argentine more than held his own, but with De Gea looking more likely to be a part of his squad this year, it seems Van Gaal is once again willing to trust him between the sticks on Friday.
De Gea is out of contract next year but United have made it clear that they would prefer to allow him leave for nothing next summer than for a reduced price before the end of this transfer window. Although they haven't given up hope that he may yet sign a new deal, the latest developments would suggest that that is the most likely outcome.