Manchester United are happy to keep David De Gea for a further year after his move to Real Madrid did not go through and believe he can effect a return to form and favour in the way Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney have done after transfer sagas in the past, sources have told ESPN FC.
Real had agreed to buy De Gea for £29 million, with Costa Rica international Keylor Navas moving to Old Trafford as part of the deal, but the paperwork was not submitted before the Spanish transfer window closed on Monday night.
The 10-times European champions insist they they "did everything that was necessary" in their attempt to secure the signature of former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper De Gea, who would have become the second-most expensive goalkeeper in football history at that price.
But United are relaxed about the situation, sources told ESPN FC, and are content to keep a player they regard as the best goalkeeper in Europe for a further season.
The 24-year-old has not even been on the bench for any of their first six matches this season as manager Louis van Gaal has excluded De Gea because of concerns about his state of mind.
But he will return to contention at Old Trafford and, as United's player of the year in each of the last two seasons, might still be regarded as a superior option to Sergio Romero.
United are also conscious that they have experience of rehabilitating players after transfers elsewhere broke down and have benefited from their contributions after they had expected to leave Old Trafford.
Real attempted to sign Cristiano Ronaldo in 2008 but, although the Portuguese was unsettled and eventually joined the Spanish club the following summer, he stayed at United for a further year, scoring 26 goals as they won the Premier League and reached the Champions League final.
And Wayne Rooney was a target for Chelsea in 2013 but United resisted Jose Mourinho's attempts to buy the striker, whose reintegration was complete when he was named captain at Old Trafford in 2014.
De Gea's current contract at Old Trafford expires in 2016 and he has refused lucrative offers of an extension, meaning the breakdown of his move to Real will effectively cost them £29m if he were to leave on a free transfer next year.