Man Utd: David De Gea is surprised at being left out

By Dan RoanBBC sports editor
David de Gea
David De Gea has been training with Manchester United's reserve team this week

David De Gea is surprised at being left out of Manchester United's team for the first two games of the season.

Contrary to Louis van Gaal's comments, sources close to De Gea say he never expressed a desire not to play.

De Gea is not happy to have been made to train with United's reserve team. He will not be considered by manager Van Gaal until the transfer window shuts.

De Gea, 24, is wanted by Real Madrid. United are demanding a world record fee and defender Sergio Ramos in exchange.

Before United's opening Premier League game against Tottenham on 8 August, Van Gaal said he did not think De Gea was in the right frame of mind to play and "wasn't the same" as last season.

He repeated his view when he spoke to the media before his side's visit to Aston Villa on Friday evening, when Argentina's Sergio Romero is expected to keep his place.

The opposing opinions on De Gea's willingness to play do not suggest a particularly harmonious state of affairs, which Real Madrid will hope to exploit before the 1 September transfer deadline.

United are determined to be seen as Real's financial equals and have indicated a willingness to let De Gea's contract, which expires at the end of the season, run down rather than sell the former Atletico Madrid man on the cheap.

It will be a test of executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward's skills as to whether that stance can be maintained over the next fortnight.

Van Gaal would need time to bring in further cover in the goalkeeping department if De Gea did leave given another Spain international, Victor Valdes, is currently being frozen out after refusing to play for United's Under-21s side last season.