Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has advised his former club Real Madrid to look elsewhere for a new goalkeeper, saying David De Gea will stay at Old Trafford.
De Gea, 27, almost joined Madrid in 2015 and has continued to be linked with a move to the Bernabeu amid uncertainty over the future of Keylor Navas.
But speaking ahead of United's Champions League second leg match against Sevilla at Old Trafford on Tuesday, Mourinho told La Sexta that Madrid should look at other options.
"I see him [De Gea] here," he said. "I do not know Real Madrid's intentions but, if I were them, I would think of another player."
Madrid, who almost signed Athletic Bilbao keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga in January, have also been linked with Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois.
VÍDEO #laSextaDeportes ▶ Mourinho con @sguasch: "¿De Gea? Si fuera el Real Madrid, pensaría en otro jugador" https://t.co/yUPQ2nCQr4#ChampionsTotal— laSexta|Deportes (@DeporteslaSexta) March 12, 2018
But on Saturday Marca reported that Hajduk Split's Karlo Letica, 21, was being considered as backup for Navas.
Letica's teammate Borja Lopez, a former Sporting Gijon, Monaco and Barca B defender, told the newspaper that the link was not unexpected after Letica kept seven clean sheets in his first eight senior games.
"I am happy for him," he said. "We thought that, given how he is playing, it would not take long to draw attention.
"If not Real Madrid, other big clubs will come for him. He is very young, and had hardly played. He came into the team for the first time due to a suspension for the usual starter, saved a penalty and three one-on-ones.
"Since then, he just keeps improving."
Letica also scored at the weekend when he came up for a corner in added time against NK Istra and headed in to give his team a 3-2 win.
"I showed him it [the Marca story] after the game," Lopez said. "He was happy -- how could he not be? He had just scored a 95th minute winner!
"He is an unusual goalkeeper as he is so big, but also so quick. I see him with a lot of potential.
"He reminds me of [Atletico Madrid's Jan] Oblak for his size, ability in the air and agility. He has the potential to play for a big club in the future, I am sure of that."
Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan
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