Real Madrid Hires Julen Lopetegui; Gareth Bale to United Speculation Returns

"My future?" De Gea is quoted as saying by the Daily Express.

Even some of the journalists around the training camp had heard about the rumour of Lopetegui taking over at Real Madrid.

The Belgian midfielder has been a crucial factor in Roma's success this season, including helping the team to reach the semi-finals of the Champions League. United must act now and do all they can to counterbalance the promises of Lopetegui.

He went on to coach Porto before succeeding Vicente del Bosque, who had overseen Spain's triumphs at the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2012 but had also been in charge for the disappointing group-stage exit at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

"He will join the club after Spain's participation in the World Cup, after two years leading the national team". And it is a risky move for both club and country. United have been lucky to hold on to him for as long as they have.

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino was an early frontrunner for the job. Perhaps the biggest beneficiary is playmaker Isco.

Zidane won the Champions League at Real for the past three seasons, but Balague insists fans will be happy with Lopetegui's arrival, having gone 20 games unbeaten with Spain.

Bad news for... Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo are some of the potential losers. The coach has shown he likes players with strong football intelligence and technical skills over those with more physical prowess.

Earlier this month Sky Sports ran a piece claiming that the Argentine was the club's number one choice, but Spanish football expert Balague has since explained to Sky Sports why that may not have been the case.

But with three days before Spain's World Cup opener against Portugal in Sochi, Madrid announced that the Basque tactician will leave that position after agreeing a three-year contract with the La Liga giants.

  • Ricardo Clara