David De Gea: Victor Valdes could be Man Utd solution - Van der Sar

By Shamoon HafezBBC Sport
Victor Valdes and David De Gea
David De Gea joined Manchester United from Atletico Madrid in 2011

Victor Valdes is a ready-made replacement should David De Gea leave Manchester United, according to former goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

De Gea, 24, has one year remaining on his contract at Old Trafford and has been linked with a move to Real Madrid.

Van der Sar was replaced by De Gea - signed for £18.9m - when he retired from football in 2011.

"Maybe they have the solution already in-house in Victor Valdes," Van der Sar, 44, told BBC Sport.

'Valdes has great pedigree'

Manchester United allowed Valdes to train with the club as he recovered from a serious knee injury before signing him on a free transfer in January. Since then he has acted as back-up to De Gea, making two appearances.

Having been given his Barcelona debut by current United manager Louis van Gaal in 2002, the Spaniard enjoyed a trophy-filled 12 years at the Nou Camp, winning the Champions League three times as well as six La Liga titles.

Victor Valdes
Victor Valdes was on the winning side for Barcelona against Manchester United in both the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals

Van Gaal said in May that Spaniard De Gea has a difficult decision to make over whether to return to his homeland.

Former Ajax, Juventus and Fulham keeper Van der Sar, who played over 250 games for United from 2005-2011, says a suitable replacement should fit the club's style of play.

"It depends whether they are looking for someone with reaction saves or someone who is commanding and a more outfield type of player," he said at a Legends event at Old Trafford.

"If your team plays further away from goal and you have a goalkeeper who likes to protect his six-yard box, then the match will not be there.

"Barcelona played a lot away from their goal and that is something Van Gaal finds important. Valdes has a lot of experience and a great pedigree."

'If De Gea leaves, United have to move on'

Born in the Spanish capital, De Gea came through the academy at Atletico Madrid, where he won the Europa League, before being brought to England by then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson. He could now make the move to city rivals Real.

Van der Sar, who won four Premier League titles and one Champions League at Old Trafford, added: "If you name some big clubs in the world, United and Real Madrid are in the top five. To choose between those is great.

"He will be a great loss for United if he leaves but the club has to move on and find a successor."

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