Manchester United star Juan Mata has said David de Gea is still "highly regarded" by Louis van Gaal, amid uncertainty as to the goalkeeper's role in the Red Devils' game against Liverpool on 12 September. Mata admitted he has talked extensively with his friend during their times together in the Spain camp during the international break, helping him move on from his failed move to Real Madrid on Spanish transfer deadline day.
De Gea is expected to return to Manchester for the first time since the collapse of his long-rumoured transfer after Spain's match against Macedonia tonight (8 September). Manchester United have issued a statement saying they are "delighted" that the player remains at the club, but as Van Gaal exiled De Gea for the first four league games of the campaign, it is uncertain whether the Dutch boss will hand him a new chance at Old Trafford – and how the supporters will react to him.
Mata hopes that De Gea will receive a good reaction from United's fans, believing this will help his situation at Manchester United go back to the way it was previously, with De Gea regainin ghis spot between the sticks in the next few games.
"I have talked a lot with him. Even though there have been hectic and stressful days, he is such a calm person. Nothing changes him. He will remain a great goalkeeper," he said as quoted by Mundo Deportivo. "David has been the best player in the team during the last two years. I have no doubt that this year will also be very good for him.
"I think there will be no problem in his return either with the club, the manager or the fans. The fans love him very much, in the club he is highly regarded. I think everything will remain the same."
Meanwhile, Sergio Romero has said he will not give up the goalkeeper spot at Old Trafford without a fight.
"Playing for United is a dream and if God helps me this dream will never end," Romero told La Nacion. "As have been saying: I have to thank Van Gaal for trusting me. But let me tell you, I do not think that the goalkeeper spot in United is already mine. I do know that I have a huge support from Van Gaal and his staff."