David de Gea
David de Gea impressed once again during Manchester United's 1-0 win over Newcastle on WednesdayGetty Images

Liverpool favourite Jamie Carragher appears to be growing weary of the consistently excellent form displayed by David de Gea, claiming the sooner the highly regarded Manchester United goalkeeper departs Old Trafford for Real Madrid the better.

Spain international De Gea has been nothing short of superb this season, underlying his importance to his club's bid for Champions League qualification with several crucial saves, including two impressive stops to deny Newcastle United forward Emmanuel Riviere and secure a deserved man of the match award during the 1-0 victory over John Carver's men on 4 March.

Despite the 24-year-old 'keeper's impressive run in English football, however, rumours linking the former Atletico prodigy with an imminent return to La Liga have persisted for several months. Real are said to be very eager indeed to sign the player and Carragher has jokingly hinted he is looking forward to that particular transfer coming to pass.

While it is an obviously tongue-in-cheek comment from the inspirational defender turned respected pundit, there is no doubt De Gea's continued heroics are likely to prove pivotal in the outcome of the heated battle for Champions League qualification.

Following that narrow victory at St James' Park, Louis van Gaal's side, who could to be without centre-back Jonny Evans for the foreseeable future after he was caught up in an extremely distasteful spitting row with Papiss Cisse, currently retain their rather tenuous grasp on fourth place.

Carragher's beloved Liverpool have now emerged as Manchester United's main rivals for a top-fourth berth, thanks in no small part to a terrific run in 2015 that has seen them recover from their inevitable post-Luis Suarez slump and win seven of their last eight Premier League fixtures.

Goals from English duo Jordan Henderson and Daniel Sturridge secured a latest comfortable victory over relegation-threatened Burnley at Anfield and manager Brendan Rodgers will no doubt be delighted that his team, who were very impressive in toppling champions Manchester City on 1 March, are showing no signs of fatigue or a potentially damaging hangover from their last-gasp Europa League exit to Besiktas in Istanbul.

Key to Liverpool's upturn in fortunes has been the attitude and sheer perseverance of their own goalkeeper. While De Gea has been drawing plaudits all season for his positive performances, Simon Mignolet was roundly criticised for a number of glaring errors prior to the congested festive programme yet has bounced back wonderfully and shown strong resolve to prove instrumental once again during this 12-match unbeaten run.

Twitter/@Carra23