The Spanish giants desperately want De Gea and are ready to almost double the previous highest fee for a goalkeeper.

And if they cannot bag the Manchester United No 1, they will target Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois as an alternative.

A Madrid source said: “De Gea is the top priority.

“We expect him to come this summer.”

If the deal goes through, the fee will dwarf the current high for a keeper — £32.7m paid by Juventus to Parma for Gigi Buffon back in 2001.

The news will anger boss Jose Mourinho ahead of tonight’s clash with Anderlecht.

Mourinho sent a very public message to the Spanish international last week that he should not be thinking of a move but instead concentrate on the Red Devils.

De Gea, 26, would have joined Real Madrid in 2015 but the two clubs failed to register a £30m deal in time on transfer deadline day.