Why would the Spaniard make life even harder for himself? asks FFT.com's Spain correspondent Tim Stannard...
Now don’t get La Liga Loca wrong. The city of Madrid is a very pleasant place to live. But it isn’t all that. It’s no Kettering. Spain’s capital has a brown haze over it during much of the year. The summers are unbearable in an environment where air conditioning is seen as an effete weakness and large chunks of neighbourhoods like Malasaña have a permanent whiff of wee.
Don’t even think of ordering a Starbucks and get something remotely close to what your heart desired. Especially the branch at Principe Pio.
Or have your name incorrectly spelled on the cup. One compatriot of the blog was horrified to have 'Anerly' written on her vanilla latte one fine spring morning.
Despite all this damning evidence, David de Gea seems to want a return to Madrid after four years in Manchester, where he turned from ‘David de Whoa?’ fresh off the plane from Atlético Madrid to ‘David de Geaaaayya!’, was just voted United’s footballer of the year by fans and is generally lauded across England.
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The current sages in Madrid and Manchester have De Gea in the process of agreeing personal terms with the masters of Mordor, but the clubs still to agree on a €40 million fee reportedly being demanded by the Premier League outfit – a good half of what Real Madrid would like to pay for a player who only has a year left on his contract at Old Trafford.
Curiously, De Gea doesn't seem to be overly bothered that Iker Casillas might still be kicking around for the next two years at the Santiago Bernabéu. This was a notion reinforced by AS on Tuesday, with the paper reporting that the Madrid bosses would like the club captain to stay for the remaining time on his deal.
Logic would suggest that the presence of the keeper would be a lose-lose situation for De Gea. Should whichever poor sap who is charge of Madrid next summer chose Casillas to be Madrid’s starter between the sticks, then all of De Gea’s hard work and progress in Manchester would have gone to waste.
If he takes the No.1 shirt from Saint Iker, then two years of being scowled at and having to be very careful walking down the stairs awaits, who would also have to face dethroning Casillas from the Spain squad.
Then there’s the fact that playing for Real Madrid is more often than not a trying experience for its players, who are largely booed by their own supporters in the Santiago Bernabéu and have the constant pressure of having to win every competition that exists but all too often failing to do so.
De Gea shouldn't forget, either, the fact that hundreds of thousands of Atlético Madrid supporters can be found frequenting large parts of Spain’s capital. These supporters may not be completely comfortable with the scenario of the Rojiblancos' youth team product turning out for their accursed rivals.
While there must be a number of motivating factors to move back home, including being near family, friends and a constant source of ham, a move to Real Madrid from a situation of complete stability can be a risky move – Keylor Navas and Gareth Bale might be able to testify to that.
De Gea isn't even jumping from a frying pan into a fire. The keeper would be leaping from a bed at the Ritz onto one of nails. The best move he can make is to realise that home is not always where the heart is. Sometimes the head is pointing you in the right direction. In this case, it’s another spell at Old Trafford.