Ricardo: De Gea good enough for United

Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David de Gea, who is close to joining Manchester United, has drawn praise from former Red Devils stopper Ricardo in light of his expected switch to Old Trafford.

Sir Alex Ferguson has moved quickly to strengthen his options in the goalkeeping department due to the imminent retirement of veteran Edwin van der Sar, with the 19-time title-winning manager eager to secure a safe pair of hands to replace those of the former Dutch international.

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Following months of speculation surrounding a possible switch to United, Ferguson publicly announced the club's desire to sign the 20-year-old goalkeeper from Atletico on Tuesday.

The Red Devils are prepared to mount a £17.5 million bid that would activate his release clause, to prise the youngster away from Spain.

And former United goalkeeper, Ricardo - who made just one league outing for the club but has since made more than 200 in Spain - affirmed that De Gea’s physical and mental capacity is ideal for the rigours of the Premier League.

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"De Gea doesn’t have nerves. Spain has produced the best goalkeepers in the world like Iker Casillas, Victor Valdes, Pepe Reina, Cesar - and now De Gea.

"I’m convinced that De Gea is good enough to play for Manchester United. He’s big, quick and his concentration is at a high level throughout the game. He’s comfortable with high balls and is very confident despite being so young.

Ricardo also spoke of De Gea’s surprisingly mature demeanour at such a young age.

"He does not worry when he plays against Barcelona or Real Madrid. That is a good sign because some goalkeepers become nervous when they play in front of big crowds in the biggest stadiums like Old Trafford," he said.

"There are very few goalkeepers who can deal with that.

 Some goalkeepers need to feel the confidence of the manager. De Gea is the type of goalkeeper who can give the manager confidence."

By Killian Woods