United manager Louis van Gaal has given the clearest indication yet that they face the prospect of losing goalkeeper David de Gea to Real Madrid.
De Gea went off with a hamstring injury during Sunday's 1-1 draw with Arsenal at Old Trafford, an injury that makes him a doubt for the final match of the season at Hull next weekend- and it could mean he has played his last game for the club.
The Spanish giants have earmarked the 24-year-old Spanish international as the successor to veteran stopper Iker Casillas and he is sure to be tempted by the possibility of rejoining his family and girlfriend in Spain, according to LVG.
The Dutchman said he did not know if Real had made an approach for De Gea, but said:
"De Gea is Spanish, he is a Spanish international- he is still behind Casillas but now a Spanish club is coming and his girlfriend is Spanish.
"His mum and dad come over every week or two weeks to watch him so it is difficult for him."
Both Casillas and stand-in Keylor Navas have made high profile errors for Real this season as they missed out on the La Liga title.
The United boss insisted that he would not be doing any more to persuade De Gea, who has one year left on his contract, to sign a new deal, explaining:
"I cannot persuade him because this transfer is an individual thing, he knows everything that he has in Manchester United at this moment and he knows also that if he is going he is losing that because he has a lot of credits.
"I don't have to say anything for the benefit of Manchester United because he can feel everything, the crowd has been unbelievable and you have seen that reaction here.
"A transfer is a process involving a player, a club and his present club so he has to choose.
"It is up to him."
"It is no so easy to choose between two great clubs- we would be very happy if he stays.
"Of course he is Spanish and as I have said already, his family and girlfriend are Spanish and a Spanish club are coming in for him and he can go to another wonderful club so it is difficult for him to decide.
"David de Gea shall not be leaving us so easily because we are a great club and he wants to participate."