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Rumour Mill

Fergie hints that de Gea deal may be concluded soon

United boss hopes to capture Atletico starlet as van der Sar’s replacement.

MANCHESTER UNITED BOSS Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Atletico Madrid netminder David De Gea is top of his transfer wishlist as he seeks to replace Edwin van der Sar this summer.

Speaking following a testimonial for long-time club servant Gary Neville last night, Ferguson told reporters that they have been working “for quite a while” on a deal to bring the 20-year-old shot-stopper to Old Trafford.

A product of Atletico’s youth system, de Gea has become one of the hottest goalkeeping properties in Europe since establishing himself in Los Rojiblancos’ first-team at the age of just 18.

Although the youngster’s current contract with Atletico still has over two full years to run, his buy-out clause is reported to be in the region of £21.5m (€25m) with United thought to be willing to meet that price if necessary.

“We identified him quite a while back as one we should go for,” said Ferguson last night. ”He’s a young goalkeeper, very quick, good composure, presence and an outstanding replacement for van der Sar.”

We were looking for the same type of qualities as Edwin, because the one great quality Edwin always had was his composure and organisational ability.

With David De Gea, he is very similar that way.

A report in today’s Mirror contains quotes from United chief executive David Gill, who told the paper that “we know the keeper we want and are in a good position, and I’m sure we can get the deal done.”