Relaxed David de Gea allows no distraction on Singapore break

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and pop-star girlfriend Edurne Garcia with iFly instructor Shakthi Subramaniam. For a player who loves diving acrobatically through the air, he did not enter the wind tunnel.
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea and pop-star girlfriend Edurne Garcia with iFly instructor Shakthi Subramaniam. For a player who loves diving acrobatically through the air, he did not enter the wind tunnel.PHOTO: IFLY SINGAPORE

Manchester United sensation David de Gea had hoped for a peaceful holiday in Singapore with pop-star girlfriend Edurne Garcia.

But whether he was out partying at hot spot 1-Altitude or riding roller-coasters at Universal Studios, Europe's most sought-after goalkeeper could not escape the attention of star-struck but worried Red Devils supporters.

"Are you staying, David?"

"Please don't go to Madrid."

"Stay at United - you can be a legend."

The Spaniard's response to his rumoured transfer to Real Madrid never wavered: a cherubic smile and, on certain occasions, a thumbs up. Even on holiday, he does not concede.

At least he was consistent - just like he has been between the sticks at Old Trafford, earning the club's Player of the Season honours for the past two years.

With 12 months left on his contract, de Gea's mooted return to his home town - he rose through Atletico Madrid's ranks - is said to be a formality.

Reports from Spain claim the move could be sealed even before United's pre-season training begins next Monday.

But in Singapore, de Gea has kept mum, betraying no signs of someone who could soon make his way to the Bernabeu for £35 million (S$74.3 million) - a world-record fee for a goalkeeper.

His agent Jorge Mendes is pushing through the move after reportedly falling out with United manager Louis van Gaal over his treatment of Mendes' clients Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao.

Casually dressed in a T-shirt and denim shorts at the iFly indoor skydiving facility in Sentosa yesterday, de Gea drew a wide-eyed crowd who had hoped to see him soar.

Although the 24-year-old went through flight training, he did not enter the wind tunnel, choosing instead to snap shots of Garcia doing so.

"David was very friendly and curious about the mechanics behind flying in a wind tunnel," said iFly instructor Shakthi Subramaniam.

"It would have been great to see him fly, but I was happy to guide his girlfriend during her flight."

The couple jetted in last week and were spotted having lunch with Singaporean billionaire and Valencia owner Peter Lim. They spent the weekend at the exclusive Bulgari Hotel in Bali, before returning to Singapore on Monday.

The Spain international has an opportunity to address his future at a promotional event at McLaren's Leng Kee showroom this morning.

But, judging by the T-shirt he wore yesterday of a golden handgun, fans can expect him to shoot down the rumours once again.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2015, with the headline 'Relaxed de Gea allows no distraction on S'pore break'. Print Edition | Subscribe