Louis van Gaal expects David De Gea to sign new Manchester United deal

The future of David De Gea has come into question amid reported interest from Real Madrid.

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Louis van Gaal says he expects David De Gea to stay at Manchester United beyond the end of his current contract.

Van Gaal’s first-choice goalkeeper has 18 months to run on his deal and has been persistently linked with a return to Spain.

But the United manager insists nothing should be read into his decision to sign free agent Victor Valdes, the former Barcelona keeper who has been training at Carrington after a long-term injury.

"I think there is no problem for (De Gea) to sign," he said. "When you are a (regular) player, then probably you are the best, and then the manager is very happy that a player that is fixed in the line-up will stay."

And Valdes, who agreed an 18-month deal this week, has been warned he faces a huge challenge to get in front of his younger compatriot.

"Nobody is happy to be No 2 and he has to have ambition to beat David De Gea – but it shall be very hard for him," Van Gaal said.

"David de Gea has developed himself in the six months that I’ve been here very much. I’m very pleased with his development."