Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal believes goalkeeper David De Gea will remain at Old Trafford despite uncertainty over his future.
De Gea has a year left on his contract at Old Trafford and has been widely expected to join Real Madrid at the end of the current season.
The 24-year-old Spain international has already rejected the offer of a new deal at United and had appeared destined to move back to his home city.
After last week’s 1-1 draw with Arsenal, van Gaal said he didn’t think he could persuade De Gea to remain at United.
De Gea is a doubt for Sunday’s Premier League trip to relegation-threatened Hull City with the hamstring injury which forced him off against the Gunners.
However, when asked if ex-Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes would be a suitable replacement the Dutchman suggested perhaps De Gea will not leave after all.
“I believe still that David De Gea will stay,” Van Gaal told reporters on Friday.
“I want to play him against Hull City on Sunday because I have to put my strongest team.
“Is Valdes ready to replace him? I have said already I can only say if David De Gea is gone. David has trained today for the first time and we have to wait and see tomorrow.
“I think De Gea is a better goalkeeper. It’s also our last match of the season. I think you have to put out your strongest team because it’s very important for Hull.
“First we have to see if De Gea is leaving. Then we shall talk about the other things.”
Van Gaal also revealed he will speak to a number of players at United who face uncertain futures in the next few days.
Holland striker Robin van Persie, on-loan Monaco forward Radamel Falcao and youngsters Adnan Januzaj and James Wilson are all thought to be vulnerable.
“I shall talk with them maybe tomorrow,” he said. “We have a farewell drink after the match. I have the Monday to talk, and I already have this week to talk. You have to wait and see how these talks develop in who is staying or going away.”
United are boosted by the return of captain Wayne Rooney for the KC Stadium clash after the England striker recovered from a dead leg.
United left-back Luke Shaw is likely to miss out with concussion, while midfielder Michael Carrick is also absent with a calf injury.
Shaw was left out of the England Under-21 squad by coach Gareth Southgate this week after an injury-hit first season at United following his transfer from Southampton.
And van Gaal claimed it was the correct decision in the best of interest of the player.
“It’s a medical question. I have spoken with (England manager) Roy Hodgson a month ago during an international break. Luke Shaw was also invited to the squad, then I convinced Roy not to take him,” he said.
“I have now spoken to Gareth Southgate and also my doctor has spoken to the doctor of the Under-21 team.
“I have read I’m the winner of this debate, but that’s not true because Luke Shaw is the winner. Luke is a great talent. It was maybe too much this step from Southampton to United and we have to protect him.
“It’s important that the medical department, managers are agreed that we can protect him and develop him to the greater talent.
“Also Roy Hodgson and Gareth Southgate and Manchester United’s manager shall take benefit. But the winner is Luke Shaw.”