PEDRO SAINT-MARTIN-DE-RE • Forward Pedro Rodriguez insisted yesterday that Spain's quest to win an unprecedented third consecutive European Championship will not be blown off course by sex scandal claims against goalkeeper David de Gea, who faced fresh allegations yesterday that he tried to arrange a prostitute for five Manchester United team-mates.
The Eldiario.es news website on Friday reported witness testimony from a prostitute that alleged de Gea organised a party at which women were forced to have sex with two Spain Under-21 players, one of whom was named as the Athletic Bilbao forward Iker Muniain.
The United stopper later fiercely denied the claims as "a lie".
"David is very well, I see him training calmly and he was calm when we spoke about the subject," Pedro said.
De Gea is battling Spain captain Iker Casillas for a starting role when the holders open their Euro 2016 campaign against the Czech Republic tomorrow.
De Gea has given all the explanations he had to give and he has made it clear that he has nothing to do with this issue. He said that to the whole squad too. The squad is here to support him at all times and to give him the affection he needs at these times. Everything is normal and we'll carry on.
VICENTE DEL BOSQUE, Spain national coach, on his first-choice goalkeeper's reaction to his sex scandal claims.
Vicente del Bosque explained yesterday that de Gea had met the rest of the squad on Friday to stress his innocence and was given the team's full backing.
"I think de Gea has given all the explanations he had to give and he has made it clear that he has nothing to do with this issue," said the Spain coach. "He said that to the whole squad too.
"The squad is here to support him at all times and to give him the affection he needs at these times. Everything is normal and we'll carry on."
But there was more trouble for de Gea yesterday, when several Spanish media published the messages from the prostitute - identified as TP3 in police files and a protected witness in the case against pornographic film director Ignacio Allende Fernandez - that she allegedly exchanged with de Gea.
In the messages, she referred to an alleged orgy she claimed de Gea wanted her to take part in with his team-mates.
Online newspaper El Confidencial said copies of the screenshots were contained in internal police files.
Mid-conversation, TP3 allegedly asked de Gea whether he wanted her to go to Manchester.
She said: "And Manchester? He has mentioned it to me. It's true?"
De Gea is claimed to have said: "Yes, it's true ha-ha." She allegedly responded saying: "You're naughty", to which he replied: "No, I'm doing it for my team-mates woman, ha-ha."
Later in the alleged conversation, TP3 claimed de Gea asked if she could "cope" with five guys. She claimed he said: "Will you be able to cope with all of them?", to which she replied: "How many are there?"
De Gea allegedly said: "About five with me," and she claimed to have replied "of course". The goalkeeper is then alleged to have replied: "I'm not so sure, ha-ha."
On Friday, news first surfaced of claims by TP3 that she and another woman were taken to a Madrid hotel and forced against their will to take part in sex acts with Muniain and another player, who has not been identified, and were victims of both "physical and sexual abuse" at their hands.
She claimed that the meeting had been arranged by de Gea, who was not alleged to have taken part, and Fernandez.
Neither de Gea nor Muniain has been accused of any offence or called to give evidence by police or the judge investigating the case, but the police unit conducting the investigation - codenamed "Universal" - says TP3 shows "a high degree of credibility", it is claimed.
They have ruled out the possibility that she is trying to discredit the people concerned for "economic or personal interests". She has alleged that neither woman was paid for the encounter, although Fernandez was.
Muniain took to Twitter to vehemently deny the claims made against him, while de Gea said: "It is a lie... I do not know where these things come from and how I could be (mixed up) in this. I can only say it is false."
AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, THE TIMES, LONDON, THE GUARDIAN