De Gea will play ‘if he is able’, Del Bosque says

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Spain goalkeeper David De Gea is in line to start their Euro 2016 opener against the Czech Republic on Monday despite being involved in an off-field controversy, coach Vicente del Bosque said on Sunday.

The final decision, though, would be made on Monday, Del Bosque told journalists.

De Gea had always been expected to start the tournament ahead of long-time number one Iker Casillas but has been dragged into a scandal and has vehemently denied allegations in the Spanish media linking him to a prostitution case.

“If De Gea is able to play, he will play,” Del Bosque said. “If he’s not then we’ll take another decision.

“We have to think about the goalkeeper situation for the whole team,” he continued. “We can’t just think about how the goalkeepers are now but the whole year, the whole season.

“A final decision will be made tomorrow but they’re big guys, they won’t feel the pressure.”

Dea Gea said on Friday that he had consulted his lawyers about reports in a Spanish newspaper that he had been named in a statement given by a protected witness in a rape case against pornography producer Ignacio Fernandez Allende.

Defender Sergio Ramos conceded that De Gea’s unwanted headlines had come as an unhappy surprise for the squad but said the entire team were behind the keeper.

“The controversy hasn’t changed anything,” Ramos said. “We have a good atmosphere in the group and we will support our team mates whatever.”

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