Jose Mourinho is desperate to keep David de Gea at Manchester United, despite admitting the Spain international is unlikely to feature again this season.
De Gea has been the Red Devils’ undisputed number one since arriving at Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011 and he has featured in 35 of United’s 37 league games to date this term.
The 26-year-old was rested for United’s 0-0 draw at Southampton on Wednesday and Mourinho has now confirmed the stopper is unlikely to feature again this season, with youngster Joel Castro Pereira set to play against Crystal Palace on Sunday, while Sergio Romero will be between the sticks for the Europa League final against Ajax next week.
“I hope to play Joel against Crystal Palace,” Mourinho told Sky Sports. “I hope to play Sergio in the final. Hopefully we don’t have problems with these two keepers.”
Despite De Gea’s impending spectator role for the rest of the season, Mourinho is still desperate to keep hold of the stopper, who continues to be linked with a move to Real Madrid, as he believes he is the best goalkeeper in the world.
Mourinho added: “David is top in the world and obviously we want to keep the top in the world.”
United are guaranteed to finish sixth in the Premier League standings no matter what the result of Sunday’s match against Palace and Mourinho is expected to field a second-string side with the Europa League final taking place just three days later.
The Red Devils are priced at 2.15 to round off the domestic season with a victory, while Palace are available at 3.25 and the draw is on offer at 3.60.