Spain manager Vicente Del Bosque has suggested that David De Gea will be his third choice goalkeeper in next summer's World Cup, after Barcelona star Victor Valdes tore his anterior cruciate ligament last month.
With Iker Casillas and Liverpool loanee Pepe Reina assured of a place in Del Bosque's 23-man squad, reports recently claimed that De Gea is the favourite to secure the vacant position left by the Barcelona keeper - with Espanyol's Kiko Casilla and Real Madrid's Diego Lopez also among the candidates.
The Spain boss has fuelled this speculation by admitting that De Gea is in his thought, even though he will not reveal his final decision until May.
"Of course we have De Gea in mind; he is one of the potential candidates to be called. He has been with us several times already," Del Bosque was quoted as saying by AS.
"I do have somebody in mind – a third goalkeeper but I would prefer not to say too much at the moment because if somebody gets injured, we'll have to start the process all over again. The logical thing to do is to comply with the timeline we have been given, we have seven weeks to finalise the list but it's too soon to disclose anything – anything could happen between now and May."
The 23-year-old keeper won the Under-21 European Championship in both 2011 and 2013 but has not yet made his debut for the senior side, even though he was called up in May 2012 for the friendlies against Serbia and South Korea.
Meanwhile, the Manchester United keeper recently admitted that he is hopeful of taking advantage of Valdes's injury to secure a spot in Del Bosque's final list.
"Victor Valdes has picked up an injury and the first thing to say is that's it's an absolute shame and not something you'd wish on anybody, least of all him," De Gea said.
"It's an awful situation but perhaps it might open a door for me to be at the World Cup."