• David de Gea celebrates after his side scores against Sunderland in their Premier League match last Dec. 26, 2016.

David de Gea celebrates after his side scores against Sunderland in their Premier League match last Dec. 26, 2016. (Photo : Getty Images/Gareth Copley)

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea is currently one of Europe's hottest properties, with a number of big clubs from all over the world willing to pay top dollar for his services. Real Madrid was within minutes of signing the Spaniard back in the summer of 2015, but the deal unfortunately fell through, as the proper paperwork was not filed in time.

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At 26, the age at which a number of players reach their peak, de Gea is still considered a young player in his position. Goalkeepers can play until their 40s, a great example of which being Juventus shot stopper Gianluigi Buffon, who is still first-choice goalkeeper at the club. Since de Gea still has many years as a top class goalkeeper ahead of him, it is not surprising that Real Madrid are still vying for his signature.

Surprisingly, reports now claim that de Gea's boyhood club Atletico Madrid, with whom he made over 50 appearances in the senior team before making the switch to United, would love for the Spaniard to join their crosstown rivals Real. Their reasoning for such is that they own five percent of the sell-on fee for de Gea, meaning they can make some serious money out of a potential deal, according to Goal.

This would be a good move for both Madrid clubs, only if it were legal. As both of these clubs face transfer bans over the next two windows after breaching rules over the transfers of foreign youth players, it means that Los Blancos cannot sign De Gea until January 2018. Atletico were also fined £622,000, whilst Real were fined £249,000 for breaking the rules.

Both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have gone to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to have their respective bans overturned, but to no avail. Both teams have lost their appeals, despite Atletico claiming they have hired "a team of international experts to defend the case and protect the rights" of the club, according to the BBC. This may be the best time for Barcelona to sign up new players to gain the upper hand on current league leaders Real Madrid to whom they trail by six points.

Watch some of David de Gea's best saves here: