That’s according to Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague, who claimed that although Los Blancos had a strong interest in De Gea in the summer, it’s not a transfer they will seek to get done mid-season.
“No. [Real Madrid] have no plans to make signings like De Gea or Lewandowski in January,” said Ballague. “But remember, Real Madrid think they can overturn the ban, so the summer could be completely different.”
As noted by BBC Sport, Real and their local rivals Atletico Madrid have both been hit with sanctions by FIFA over allegations of breaching regulations when it comes to signing youth players. They are bans that, if upheld, mean the Madrid sides will not be able to register new players until the summer of 2017.
They can still make moves in the current transfer window, though, and the news of the impending bans immediately sparks thoughts of a possible late splurge before the deadline. However, Balague doesn’t think we should expect to see Los Blancos make massive moves in the final days of January.
“They think they are going to stop the ban, but if they don’t, they will ask for a delay, which they hope will give them the summer to sign players,” he said. “So there are no plans at the moment to make massive purchases in January.”
De Gea, naturally, would be a wonderful acquisition, and Real may regret dragging their interest out for so long over the summer. The two teams seemed set to complete a deal on the final day of the previous transfer window, but they ran out of time and the transfer collapsed.
Bleacher Report’s Sam Tighe and Dean Jones took a look at what the ban is likely to mean for De Gea and a host of other players linked with moves involving Real:
Since the deal fell through, De Gea has retaken his spot at the base of this United team and continued to show immaculate standards. He’s now undoubtedly among the very best goalkeepers on the planet, and given his previous contract was due to expire this summer, Real missed a trick not getting him on board when the chance was there.
As noted by Tom Coast of Sport Witness, in that sense, the ban is good news for United, but not in the case of potential incoming players:
Tom Coast @thcoast
Good news for #MUFC fans: De Gea isn't going anywhere. Bad news for #MUFC fans: Saúl, Bale and Ronaldo aren't going anywhere.2016-1-14 12:30:10
Real have enough depth to cope in the goalkeeping spots. Keylor Navas has been sensational so far this season, and in Kiko Casilla, they have a fine understudy; they’ll both be delighted to get a prolonged spell in which to make an impact. Balague claimed the way the club will seek to get over this transfer ban will be to give other players on the fringes or out on loan an opportunity.
“They have the possibility to bring some loan players back, including Marco Asensio of Espanyol, for instance, or Vallejo of Real Zaragoza,” he said.
As noted by Spanish football writer David Cartlidge, there are some fine young players currently on Los Blancos books:
David Cartlidge @davidjaca
Real Madrid meanwhile already w/ three of Spain's best youngsters signed and sealed. Vallejo, Asensio and Mayoral (latter cantera product).2016-1-14 12:38:25
De Gea remains a major miss, regardless. While Navas has excelled in the 2015-16 season, the United man is world-class and local player the supporters would have adored. Having him at the base of the team would have been a perfect fit for the Santiago Bernabeu club.
What the ban may do is pave the way for younger players to get a chance. It’s rare to see Real nurture these kinds of talents, which is disappointing given their reputation as a juggernaut of the Spanish game. It'd certainly be refreshing to see a change of emphasis when it comes to these precocious talents.