David De Gea feels happy and “really loved” at Manchester United as talks over a new deal continue.
The 27-year-old has established himself as one of the world’s best goalkeepers since joining from Atletico Madrid as a relative unknown in 2011.
United’s player of the year in four of the past five seasons, the club are understandably desperate to tie De Gea down to a new deal – and Thibaut Courtois’ move to Real Madrid has made the hierarchy increasingly optimistic.
The goalkeeper’s current deal expires next summer, with the option of another, while his future has been repeatedly questioned since he came close to joining the Madrid giants three years ago.
“I feel really loved in this club, the fans, all the people who work for this club, so I’m really happy to be at this club,” De Gea said.
“It’s one of the best clubs in the world so for me, it’s really good to be part of this club.”
Those words will be music to the ears of all those connected to United, where he has found love and support that has at times been lacking in his homeland.
Criticised for his displays at the World Cup, the Spain goalkeeper has little time for such talk.
“Normally I never listen to the people who speak about me,” De Gea said.
“I’m focused on my job and trying to help my team, trying to improve every session and trying to be as good as I can.
“I never listen to stupid things they say.”
De Gea was speaking on the eve of United’s Champions League opener against Young Boys, where he will have to contend with a plastic pitch.
“Well, we are not used to playing on artificial grass so it’s going to be a bit different,” he said.
“Probably more difficult for us but we have to train today to see how the balls work on this pitch. We will try to play our football here.
“We know it will be a tough game but we need to play our best football to win.”
United only need to look back to their last European game to see what happens if they give an inch.
In February, Sevilla dished out a humbling 2-1 loss that saw Jose Mourinho’s men bow out of the Champions League in the last-16.
“Yes, of course we want to improve in the Champions League,” De Gea said.
“It’s a special competition, a long time that Manchester United win this cup, so we are ready to do it.
“We have a difficult group, starting tomorrow with a difficult team.
“We want to start well, winning games and of course try to win this competition but we know it’s always difficult to win.”