Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea appears to have given the latest indication that he plans to stay at the club rather be swayed by ongoing interest from Real Madrid after suggesting that fans in England show him more love and respect than in Spain.
Real are believed to be in the market for a new goalkeeper this summer to replace current No. 1 Keylor Navas, with Thibaut Courtois, Gianluigi Donnarumma, Alisson and De Gea all rumored targets for Los Blancos.
United are believed to be in the process of attempting to tie De Gea down to a new long-term contract. His existing deal, signed in the immediate weeks after a 2015 move to Real fell through at the 11th hour, is due to expire in the summer of 2019 and has an option to extend to 2020.
And the 27-year-old, viewed by many as the best goalkeeper in the world, has hinted that he would prefer to stay in England because fans are warmer towards him than back home.
"In the end, in England I receive great affection and respect that I do not notice so much [in Spain]," he is quoted as saying by the Daily Express.
"But every time I come to the national team I feel fondness inside and it is the most important thing," he made sure to add, so as not to alienate Spanish supporters.
That 'affection and respect' from United fans was never more evident than during a Premier League clash with Stoke in January in truly awful wind and rain at Old Trafford. De Gea had precious little to do during the game, but the Spaniard was showered in chants and praise from the stands as he attempted to keep warm in the conditions.
De Gea arrived at United from Atletico Madrid at the age of just 20 in 2011, replacing retiring star Edwin van der Sar as number one at Old Trafford. He initially struggled to adapt to the physical demands of English football, but eventually emerged as a world class goalkeeper.
He has now played over 300 games for United, winning four major trophies and being named the club's Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons between 2013 and 2016.