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De Gea not irreplaceable, claims United legend Van der Sar

Manchester United should face up to losing David de Gea to Real Madrid, according to goalkeeping legend Edwin van der Sar, though the Dutchman believes United's current number one is replaceable.

De Gea has long been linked with Real Madrid and speculation of a switch to the Santiago Bernabeu has intensified in recent weeks.

Van der Sar concedes De Gea's unwillingness to sign a new deal with just a year remaining on his contract points to his destiny likely lying elsewhere, but believes Old Trafford chiefs should remain confident of filling the void should the Spaniard depart for home.

"There's been a lot of talk lately and if he wanted to stay he probably would have signed a new contract by now," Van der Sar said at a United legends event.

"At the start of the season you start with 11 players. Nobody is irreplaceable, that's always the case.

"I'm sure United, if David is going to leave, they are going to find a good successor."

Reports have suggested Louis van Gaal could make a move for Netherlands and Ajax keeper Jasper Cillessen to replace De Gea.

And Van der Sar - a board member at the Amsterdam Arena – believes he has shown improvements which could make him a suitable candidate.

Former Old Trafford favourite Van der Saar added: "I hope United aren't getting him!

"Luckily I have some influence on that part, being on the board of Ajax. But of course, Jasper is a fantastic goalkeeper. 

"In the winter break I went to Qatar for a week and I trained with the goalkeepers there and had a session with them. He has also improved immensely. 

"He played great for the national team in the World Cup and is, like David here, a very reliable goalkeeper for us in Amsterdam. We would like to keep him for a while.

"Louis also likes a goalkeeper who can play with his feet also and just behind the defence.

"Victor Valdes has also played like that at Barcelona for a while.

"Or maybe they are looking for different one also."