Following weeks of intense speculation Real Madrid have finally appointed a new head coach to replace the departing Zinedine Zidane. Despite being linked to everyone from Mauricio Pochettino to Arsene Wenger, Madrid have opted to bring in the lesser known Julen Lopetegui, former Porto boss and current manager of the Spanish national team.
Lopetegui’s duties at the upcoming World Cup finals in Russia will give him plenty of time to get to know some of Madrid’s more established players; including Sergio Ramos and Dani Carvajal, as well as their talented fringe players such as Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez. Unfortunately, for Man United fans, Lopetegui will also be spending a month with long-time Madrid target David de Gea.
It’s no secret that Real Madrid are keen to bring David de Gea to the Santiago Bernabeu. Madrid have put forth a number of high profile bids over the years, and were it not for a faulty fax machine in 2015, the dynamic goalkeeper may already have a few Champions League winners medals to his name.
The Spanish club’s pursuit of de Gea is more than just a fleeting desire however. Madrid believe that de Gea is destined to return to his hometown as a galactico. They see him as the only long-term replacement for club legend Iker Casillas, and are unlikely to cool their interest any time soon.
Spain are set to kick off their World Cup campaign with a match against Portugal on Friday (June 15), which will also give Lopepegui the opportunity to speak to Cristiano Ronaldo about his future in the Spanish capital. La Furia Roja will then take on Iran in Kazan on Wednesday (June 20), before facing Morocco in their final group fixture the following Monday (June 25).
As for Man United fans, it could be worth praying that Spain don’t do too well as this year’s World Cup. De Gea has already tasted victory under Lopetegui when Spain won the European U21 Championships back in 2013. If Lopetegui continues to form a strong bond with de Gea in Russia, it could have a significant influence on the goalkeeper’s future endeavours.