That is according to pundit and former West Ham goalkeeper Shaka Hislop.
De Gea was linked with a move to Real Madrid earlier this summer but the La Liga giants then cooled their interest in him.
However, reports have surfaced in the last 48 hours that they are once again looking to prise the 26-year-old away from Manchester United.
Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois and AC Milan's 18-year-old Gianluigi Donnarumma were another two stoppers linked with the Bernabeu.
David De Gea transfer: Potential replacements for the Man Utd keeper Fri, July 14, 2017
Express Sport brings you the star goalkeepers who could replace David De Gea at Manchester United
Play slideshow Getty Images 1 of 8
Shaka Hislop believes Real Madrid always wanted to sign David de Gea
Never mind the talk about Courtois, never mind about Donnarumma. I always thought their No 1 choice was David de Gea
Shaka Hislop on Man Utd's David de Gea
But Hislop reckons Madrid president Florentino Perez never wanted anyone other than De Gea.
"I never thought for a moment that Florentino Perez would have wanted anyone at Real Madrid other than David de Gea," Hislop said on the BBC.
"Never mind the talk about Courtois, never mind about Donnarumma. I always thought their No 1 choice was David de Gea.
Get Quotes on Home Insurance
Shaka Hislop says Real Madrid do not necessarily need to sign David de Gea from Man Utd
"If they didn't get him they already had a very good goalkeeper on their books.
"That's right where we are back to now.
"We've made a full lap of the board, we've past go, we've collected $200 and we're back to Real Madrid having Keylor Navas on their books but still trying to attract David de Gea."