David de Gea
David De Gea was signed by Ferguson to replace Edwin van der Sar in 2011 Getty

Manchesteter United goalkeeper David De Gea has claimed Sir Alex Ferguson's personal call was the key behind his move to Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011.

Having garnered a reputation as one of the world's most promising young 'keepers during his time in La Liga, the former United manager paid around £19m to secure De Gea's services and replace Edwin van der Sar.

During an interview with Spanish site El Enganche, De Gea points out how Ferguson convinced him to move to Old Trafford and reveals he did not believe such a big club wanted him.

He said: "You start to know about the interest by the press but you don't believe at all. However, there is a day when the club makes it official and you realise it's true. That it is real.

"Ferguson called me. It was him. He really wanted me, he wanted me to become the Manchester United goalkeeper. He was one of the best coaches. He is one of the best managers in the whole history and that such a big manager wanted me was the maximum for me."

However, the start of his time in the Premier League did not go as expected. Ferguson often used Anders Lindegaard as his first choice rather than De Gea, while many doubted whether the skinny Spaniard could adequately replace Van der Sar.

But De Gea managed to overcome the situation to become in one of the best 'keepers in the world.

He said: "As a goalkeeper, I had an added pressure because the last 'keepers at the club have been great. I was aware I had to be very good. Van der Sar had been a very important part of the club just before my arrival. He won many titles. But I trust in myself. I knew I could cope with it and game by game I improved."