Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal admitted on Sunday that he faces a fight to hold onto goalkeeper David de Gea, who has been heavily linked with Real Madrid.

“He will not leave us easily as we have a great club and he wants to participate,” Van Gaal told Sky Sports.

“But he is Spanish. His girlfriend is Spanish. He has the chance to go to another great club. But it is difficult for him to decide.”

De Gea, a Madrid-born Spain international, was forced off by injury during the second half of United’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Old Trafford, with Victor Valdes taking his place.

The 24-year-old was the only United player to be included in the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) Team of the Year for this season and the club’s fans implored him to stay during Sunday’s game.

Van Gaal revealed afterwards that De Gea had injured his hamstring, potentially ruling him out of United’s final game away to relegation-threatened Hull City.

Radamel Falcao, whose underwhelming loan spell from Monaco ends at the end of the season, appeared to wave farewell to the crowd as he gave way for Robin van Persie with half an hour to play.

But Van Gaal was coy when asked if the Colombia striker had played his last home game for the club, as United retain an option to buy the player.

“You know how the situation of Falcao is. At the end of the season we will decide,” the Dutchman said.

When it was put to him that Falcao appeared to have been saying goodbye, Van Gaal replied: “Then you have to ask him and then you can quote him. You are only assuming.”

Photo Credits : AFP