By James Murray

19th Sep, 2023 | 6:52pm

Real Betis could be set to sign 'fantastic' David de Gea ahead of Rangers clash

David de Gea could be set to sign for Real Betis ahead of the game against Rangers on Thursday (21 September).

Spanish news outlet reported on Sunday (17 September) that the La Liga side have set their sights on signing the 32-year-old keeper.

That means the Spaniard could potentially feature against the Gers as they get their Europa League campaign underway at Ibrox.

De Gea, who Sir Alex Ferguson once referred to as “fantastic”, has been without a club since he was released by Manchester United at the end of last season.

He spent 12 years at Old Trafford since signing from Atletico Madrid in 2013 and went on to make 545 appearances for the club, recording 191 clean sheets along the way.

The keeper was still a regular fixture in between the sticks for the Red Devils last season, playing in all 38 Premier League games as he made 58 outings across the campaign, including 12 in the Europa League.

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He also held an impressive record, racking up 25 clean sheets before Erik ten Hag decided he wasn’t going to be in his plans this year.

Fichajes reported that he has received several offers, but that he is yet to make a decision on where his future is going to be this season.

It said a keeper has become the “priority” for Betis, who see De Gea as a “very attractive” option due to his vast experience at club and international level after earning 45 caps for Spain.

The La Liga outfit are keen to add a new man in between the sticks after Rui Silva shipped five goals in their 5-0 defeat against league champions Barcelona on Saturday (16 September).

It looks unlikely that the Seville-based side will be able to bring the Spaniard in before they make the trip to Glasgow, but it’s not completely out of the question.

He has, however, played very little football for a number of months since his release from Man United, meaning they would be cautious about throwing him straight in at Ibrox.

There is no doubt that he still has a lot to give in the game, though, and could prove to be a real thorn in the Light Blues’ hopes of beating Betis if he does make the switch.

Even if he doesn’t complete the move in time, he would likely be available for the return fixture at the Benito Villamarin Stadium and would provide them with a boost in their bid to make it through the group stages of the competition.

As for the Gers, the game is an opportunity to prove that they can compete at this level after a disappointing start to their campaign domestically and in Europe, having suffered a heavy defeat in the Champions League qualifiers to PSV.

A victory over Betis would provide a much-needed boost and relieve some of the pressure that has built up at Ibrox for Michael Beale over the past few weeks.

In other Rangers news, a journalist has shared an “unthinkable” admission about the Rangers board regarding Beale.