David de Gea's desperation to join Real Madrid has seen him take the extraordinary step of asking Sergio Ramos to appeal to manager Zinedine Zidane to bring the Spain international to the Bernabeu next summer. The Manchester United goalkeeper has been constantly linked with a return to the Spanish capital but a series of factors has seen the move fail to materialise.

In the summer of 2015, Real ran out time to sign the 26-year-old after missing the deadline to complete the deal at the end of the transfer window. Since, the form of Keylor Navas – who was intended to be the sweetener in the deal to bring De Gea back to Madrid – and the club's unprecedented success has seen a move for the stopper placed on the back-burner. The La Liga champions were linked with a £46m move for De Gea, per The Sun, in August but nothing came of the speculation.

Despite United having staged a dramatic improvement under Jose Mourinho by winning two trophies last season and returning to the Champions League, De Gea is still eyeing a return to Spain where he spent his youth and early part of his professional career until his move from Atletico Madrid to Old Trafford in 2011.

Spanish publication Dario Gol suggest that such is his desperation to move to Real that he has asked close friend and Real captain Ramos to speak to Zidane to help manufacture his exit from United. De Gea is said to be hopeful he can complete the move should Real endure a difficult 2017-18 campaign. Zidane however is believed to favour retaining Navas in the Los Blancos goal with the Costa Rica international having been crucial to the club winning the Champions League in successive campaigns.

Real president Florentino Perez does however remain keen on signing De Gea but Zidane's stance has prevented their interest being reignited. And the 1998 Ballon d'Or winner is not alone in his admiration of Navas, with Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon insisting Real do not need to invest in another goalkeeper with the 30-year-old at the helm.

"Real Madrid have not lacked anything over the past 10 years, as they have bought the best footballers," he told Marca. "Keylor Navas is a great goalkeeper, despite what some say. They have won two Champions Leagues with him and he has often been important on the way to winning them. I don't believe there is a need to sign, as the results have shown that they are winning as it is."

Even if Ramos' personal plea to Zidane fail to convince Real to sign De Gea, the fact that the United 'keeper remains intent on resuming his career in his homeland is troubling for Mourinho. The 20-time English league champions are set to challenge for the title this term after four barren campaigns in the Premier League, yet that may not be enough for De Gea who has been named in the PFA Team of the Year in four of the past five seasons.

David de Gea and Sergio Ramos
De Gea and Ramos are good friends on and off the pitch and that could prove crucial. Getty Images