It’s around the time for annual David De Gea to Real Madrid rumours to really launch themselves again. The Manchester United goalkeeper was very keen to move to Madrid in the summer 2015 transfer window, only for the deal to accidentally-on-purpose collapse at the last minute.

Since then it’s felt a matter of when and not if the Manchester United goalkeeper returns to Spain. As the claims once again circulated during the week, and Manchester was bad-mouthed, we explained:

‘The Spanish media don’t need to down-talk Manchester to make De Gea wishing to sign for Real Madrid seem reasonable. The 26 year old would be signing for arguably the world’s biggest club, in a city he’s from, with a team right at the top of European football and who don’t struggle to qualify for the Champions League.

On top of that he gets to live with his long term girlfriend, start a family and dream about pushing little De Geas around Plaza de Santa Ana.

If De Gea leaves, it’s likely not about Manchester and Manchester United, but more about him and his future on and off the pitch. And that’s understandable.’

Screen Shot 2017-03-26 at 10.29.57However, there may be optimism for Manchester United and the club’s supporters. In their Sunday edition Marca publish the results of a survey in which Real Madrid fans were asked who the major target should be this summer.

Paulo Dybala was clear favourite, with both Antoine Griezmann and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang ahead of De Gea.

Surveys in Spanish football mean more than in most places, with club presidents voted in, and then of course out, by fans.

If Madrid’s fans aren’t that keen then Florentino Perez (pictured above helping a wobbly looking Diego Maradona to his taxi) may think twice about going into a battle he isn’t certain to win, and that’s a ray of hope for Manchester United.