Manchester United’s long-running fear of losing David de Gea to Real Madrid could finally be easing.
The La Liga giants are being strongly linked to Athletic Bilbao’s Spain Under-21 keeper Kepa.
Real are keen to nab him on a free transfer next summer, according to Spanish website Marca.
That would take United another huge step nearer believing that De Gea will stay at Old Trafford for many more years.
The Spain star has come close to leaving them for Real at least twice, most famously in the closing minutes of the 2015 summer transfer window.
But since then United have been increasingly confident of keeping him.
And that belief was strengthened in pre-seasn when Real boss Zinedine Zidane insisted Keylor Navas would remain his first-choice stopper.
Chelsea’s Beglium star Thibaut Courtois and Milan’s 18-year-old sensation Gianluigi Donnarumma are still on the Real radar.
But Kepa would seem a far easier option and will soon be free to speak to other clubs.
Marca suggest Athletico have been trying in vain to raise his release clause from 18million euros to 65m and tie him to a new deal.
But whatever happens, it seems De Gea is more and more settled at United.
And with Jose Mourinho’s exciting new side topping the Premier League in free-scoring fashion, the ex-Atletico Madrid hero is happier than ever in England.