Manchester United appear closer than ever to signing David De Gea, with the Atletico Madrid keeper revealing a huge respect for the English giants, as well as some of the Red Devils’ top goalkeepers.
"Manchester United are a great club and being associated with them is a great compliment for me, but Atletico are also great," the keeper told AS.com.
"I liked watching [Peter] Schmeichel [when I was young] and also [Edwin] Van der Sar, both are among the best I have seen.”
De Gea singled out Van der Sar for particular praise, with the 20-year-old saying he hopes to emulate the United legend’s form.
"For me Edwin is a reference point. He has been playing at the highest levels for 20 years. He has shown he is a great goalkeeper," De Gea said.
The keeper is clearly at the top of Sir Alex Ferguson’s transfer wish list as a replacement for outgoing Van der Sar, and De Gea’s praise for the Dutch keeper will no doubt get the Manchester United fans on board.
"We've been working on it [ the De Gea transfer] for quite a while. We identified him quite a while back as one we should go for,” Ferguson said last month.
"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."
Manuel Neuer was reportedly also high on Ferguson’s list for a replacement keeper for van der Sar, but the German chose to sign for Bayern Munich instead.