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Real Madrid looking beyond De Gea — Spanish reports

According to Marca, it's not just United's keeper in line to succeed Iker Casillas ...

Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Welcome to the Bernabéu Babe, a website devoted entirely to the business of tracking Real Madrid's next goalkeeper. David de Gea, currently of Manchester United, is generally understood to be the front-runner, because he's really good, really Spanish, and his girlfriend really doesn't like Manchester.

But he's not, apparently, the only name in the frame. According to Marca, who tend to have a pretty good line on what's going on at Madrid, the club are also considering a move for Bernd Leno, a 23-year-old German keeper currently keeping goals out at Bayer Leverkusen. Their English site are carrying no fewer than four pieces on the lad, the most effusive of which says ...

The reports 'Los Blancos' have received on the Bayer Leverkusen man couldn't be more glowing. The Real scouts believe Leno is a top-class prospect who would not be out of place in the company of Messrs De Gea, Courtois, Neuer, Roberto and Cech, other shotstoppers who have been linked with a move to the Bernabéu.

Which is interesting. It's common sense to have options, of course, and this could be a warning shot aimed at De Gea's camp: we have other options, you know, so get a shift on. The suspicion remains that Real Madrid would very much like to see the future Spanish No.1 in a white shirt. That kind of things matters. But if nothing else, this certainly suggests that De Gea's departure isn't quite a done deal in Madridista eyes.

And hey, if Leno's that good, maybe he fancies giving Manchester a shot? Something to think about, Ed, if you're reading ...