De Gea makes Manchester United claim

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David de Gea has sparked rumours that he is on his way to Manchester United after commenting on his great respect for the Red Devils and their current shot stopper Edwin van der Sar.

The talented 19-year-old is believed to be one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s targets to replace the retiring Van der Sar at the end of the season.

De Gea – who currently represents the Spanish under-21 side – is believed to be a bright prospect for the future, with Ferguson asking the Red Devils' scouts to keep close tabs on him in recent months.

Despite the young Spaniard stating his allegiance to Atletico in the not too distant past, he seems keen to make sure he is not ruled out of a move to the Premier League giants. 

De Gea told Voetbal International: "I know Sir Alex Ferguson already has viewed me. My contract with Atletico runs until mid-2013.

 After this season we should look at what happens and who wants to talk can come and talk.

"At Atletico, I owe them everything and I would love to stay, but on the other hand Manchester United is a great club."

De Gea also lavished praise upon current Manchester United goalkeeper Van der Sar, admitting that he has adapted his game to match the Dutch international’s technique.

"Edwin's style appeals to me. I've tried to make it my own," he said.

Despite the recent signing of Anders Lindegaard from Aalesund to replace Van der Sar, the demand for a promising young goalkeeper still tops Ferguson’s priorities for the January transfer window.

De Gea, although still a teenager, has already secured a starting place in the Atletico Madrid starting XI, making 32 appearances for the rojiblancos.

By Elliott Binks