LONDON • Jose Mourinho has guaranteed "100 per cent" that goalkeeper David de Gea will not be sold by Manchester United to Real Madrid or any other club for the coming season.
The manager was speaking in the Californian city of Palo Alto before last night's (this morning, Singapore time) pre-season tour clash with Real in San Jose.
De Gea nearly moved to the Spanish champions two years ago before the transfer collapsed on the final day of the 2015 summer window.
"I can guarantee that he's not going this season, that I can, and my feeling is it will be very difficult for him to go. Because he's a very honest boy, very straight," Mourinho said.
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The 54-year-old suggested United allowed de Gea, who has two years left on his terms, the choice of whether to move to Real.
"He was contacted for a long time (by Real)," the Portuguese said. "And I always have this feeling of when a player has a desire to go, I don't like to stop players to go because in the end, you don't get what you expect from them if they want to move and they don't.
Wins out of three pre-season matches for Manchester United so far, against LA Galaxy (5-2), Real Salt Lake (2-1) and Man City (2-0).
"I don't think the feeling from him (towards Real) is very good. I see him very happy and focused and working better than ever so for me, 100 per cent he stays with us."
United midfielder Ander Herrera has also said that it is vital that the Red Devils do not sell de Gea as the Spanish international believes his countryman's departure to Real would dent the club's title prospects.
"If you lose the top three in any position, like David is, like (Paul) Pogba is, like Romelu Lukaku is, like Marcus Rashford can be, it is a great loss," the 27-year-old Herrera said.
"We don't want to lose them, we want to keep them, and David is in the top three. For me, he's the best in the world so I want to keep him here at United.
"He is a goalkeeper who can give you points. That is very important. I want to keep him here, to play with him, because he's a fantastic 'keeper and also my friend, and I think you can see he's very focused on Manchester United."
Of Real's Gareth Bale, a potential summer transfer target for United, Mourinho added: "Same (as Cristiano Ronaldo), he was never on my list. I never felt a desire from him to leave."
He did, however, say that in an ideal situation he still hopes to add a further two players to his squad before the end of the transfer window - with Chelsea defensive midfielder Nemanja Matic and Inter Milan winger Ivan Perisic on his radar.
When asked about when those players who have long-term injuries might return, the manager said: "Luke Shaw in September, Ashley Young October, Marcos Rojo in December (or) even January."
He added that Timothy Fosu-Mensah, Axel Tuanzebe, Matteo Darmian and Demetri Mitchell will all definitely feature against Real.
United have won all three pre-season encounters so far - 5-2 against Los Angeles Galaxy, 2-1 against Real Salt Lake and 2-0 against Manchester City .
After the Real encounter, United move on to Washington DC for their final match - against Barcelona - on Wednesday before flying back to Manchester.
THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE