David de Gea

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Mourinho excited for UCL at Old Trafford; Updates GK plans

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Did absence make the heart grow fonder for Manchester United’s supporters?

Jose Mourinho thinks so, as the club went from perennial UEFA Champions League contenders to missing the competition entirely last season (United did win the Europa League).

[ MORE: Palace makes change ]

Speaking to the press ahead of his group stage debut as United boss, Mourinho expressed hope that the Old Trafford supporters will be respond well to the bright lights of the UCL. From the BBC:

“For some players there’s the motivation of playing in it for the first time, so we look forward to the match and I hope also Old Trafford feels it in the same way we are feeling it.”

Mourinho is without suspended defenders Phil Jones and Eric Bailly, and will start Victor Lindelof and Chris Smalling in front of David De Gea. He also has an injury question in Marouane Fellaini, who has a calf problem.

More on De Gea: Mourinho says he’s not going to trot out specified keepers for each competition, as he did when Sergio Romero led the club through the UEL.

UEFA Super Cup: Real holds on to top Man Utd (video)

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  • Madrid wins fourth Super Cup
  • One shy of Milan, Barcelona
  • United now 1-3 in Super Cups

Casemiro and Isco helped Real Madrid to a two-goal lead, then watched as Romelu Lukaku and Manchester United nearly came back to force extra time in the UEFA Super Cup Final on Tuesday in Macedonia.

The 2-1 win gives Real its third Super Cup in four seasons, with Barcelona winning the outlier in 2015.

United will turn its attention to Sunday’s Premier League opener at West Ham, while Real will meet rivals Barca in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup on Sunday. The second leg is Aug. 16 in Madrid.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]  

Those expecting a parked bus from Jose Mourinho don’t appreciate the confidence he has in his Manchester United charges, as evidenced by the start of the match.

United was on the front foot from moment one against Real, who started with Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench. The chances were minimal, though, and the biggest danger came in the 16th minute at the other end of the pitch when Casemiro headed a cross off the cross bar. At the other end, a decent United counter turned into a wasted rip from distance by Paul Pogba.

Real worked its way into the match, however, and United was pushed back into its own end when an ever-so-slightly offside Casemiro beat Victor Lindelof to Dani Carvajal’s diagonal ball and slotted home with his left foot.

David De Gea made a nice horizontal slap save of a Luka Modric shot as the match neared halftime, largely sleepy for the final 20 minutes.

Isco made it 2-0 in the 52nd minute, and it was clear United was second best. The 25-year-old Spaniard worked a 1-2 with Gareth Bale to easily pick apart Man Utd’s back line.

United should’ve equalizer when Keylor Navas spilled Paul Pogba’s header into the path of Romelu Lukaku, but the big Belgian blazed wide of the goal.

Momenst after Bale cranked a shot off the cross bar, Lukaku restored some hope to United when Navas’ saved Nemanja Matic‘s rip into the path of the big money striker. Lukaku wouldn’t miss twice from that area, and it was 2-1 with just under a half hour to play.

A facial injury to Marouane Fellaini caused a three-minute delay in the match with about 15 minutes to play, though the Belgian was repaired suitably and didn’t leave the pitch for more than a minute.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan played Marcus Rashford through for a would-be equalizer, but Navas tipped the shot wide for a corner that Real handled well.

Cristiano Ronaldo subbed into the match in the 83rd minute.

Fellaini was stymied by Navas in the first minute of stoppage, and De Gea denied Marco Asensio at the other end.

Mourinho “guarantees” De Gea won’t go to Real Madrid

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Jose Mourinho has always said what he wants, when he wants, how he wants — especially when he’s working an ulterior motive.

[ MORE: Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup | Saturday | Friday ]

Example no. 6,394: the Manchester United manager’s comments regarding the future of goalkeeper David De Gea, who has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid, which just so happens to be one of Mourinho’s former employers. Long story short, “It ain’t happening” — quotes from the Guardian:

“I can guarantee that he’s not going this season, that I can, and my feeling is it will be very difficult for him to go. Because he’s a very honest boy, very straight.”

“He was contacted for a long time [by Real]. The club was close, then we open because I always have this feeling of when a player has a desire to go I don’t like to stop players to go because in the end you don’t get what you expect from them if they want to move and they don’t.

“I don’t think the feeling from him [towards Real] is very good. I see him very happy and focused and working better than ever so for me 100% he stays with us.”

[ MORE: Man City make a dream come true… for $35 million ]

De Gea has two years remaining on his current contract (with an option for one more), which he signed shortly after United and Madrid’s deadline-day debacle of 2015.

Juicy rumor: Ronaldo, Morata for De Gea, $234 million

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The rumors regarding Cristiano Ronaldo’s future are going to be inescapable and in many cases insufferable, but there’s little debating the juicy nature of this particular apple.

Fueled by anger at more tax evasion talk in Spain, Ronaldo is reportedly trying to engineer an exit from Real Madrid.

[ MORE: Ramifications of a Ronaldo move ]

There are only so many clubs who can handle his contract and the transfer fee, but interest in a return to Manchester United has been a two-way street for some time now.

Ronaldo seems ready to start down that road, according to reports, and one coming out of Italy via Tuttosport says United may have a massive idea to bring him “home” to Old Trafford.

In order to obtain both the 32-year-old’s services and those of Real teammate Alvaro Morata, United is reportedly ready to offer the following to Madrid:

Not a bad haul for the Meringues, who have reaped the rewards of spending on Ronaldo back in 2009 for the then 24-year-old. Ronaldo has only gone onto score 406 goals for Real. Pretty overrated (massive eye roll).

Why would Real include Morata in the deal? That’s what makes the rumor a bit goofy, though perhaps La Liga’s champions know they can land Kylian Mbappe from Monaco or another high profile player? Let’s face it, they can land just about anyone.

Report: Real Madrid won’t sign De Gea this summer

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Manchester United won’t have to worry about replacing its star goalkeeper this summer.

According to the well-connected Spanish publication Marca, Real Madrid will not pursue the signing of David De Gea this summer. De Gea is coming off a season in which he started 35 times in the Premier League, earning 14 clean sheets and 16 wins with 74 saves.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

According to the report, it would have cost around $84 million for Man United to led De Gea go this summer.

Of course, Real Madrid were just minutes away from signing De Gea and sending current and UEFA Champions League winning goalkeeper Kaylor Navas to Manchester United on transfer deadline day, August 31, 2015. But the paperwork from Madrid wasn’t submitted in time and De Gea remained at Manchester United, regaining his starting place soon after.

Since then, De Gea has cemented his place as one of the top goalkeepers in the world and in the Premier League and has supplanted Iker Casillas as the No. 1 for the Spanish National Team.

Navas meanwhile could have some more competition next season as AC Milan’s budding goalkeeping star Gianluigi Donnarumma has reportedly been offered by his agent Mino Raiola to Real Madrid and Manchester United.

Donnarumma has reportedly rejected three contract offers from AC Milan and could leave this summer for a fee unless AC Milan are okay with him leaving on a free transfer in 2018.