Manchester United legend Gary Neville has called on his former club to find a solution regarding David de Gea's future or risk encountering a "big problem" with him in the summer transfer window. De Gea has long been linked with a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid and Neville, who won countless honours during his time at Old Trafford, does not think the 26-year-old will be easy to replace.

De Gea was not stringently tested during his side's 0-0 draw with Manchester City on Thursday evening (27 April) but managed to maintain his composure and quash any attempts to breach his goal. The Spain international's performance caught the eye of Neville, who believes him to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

"De Gea was fantastic [against Manchester City] in the bits of work he had to do," Neville said on Sky Sports, quoted by the Daily Mail. "He was calm, composed, authoritative. If Manchester United were to lose De Gea, it would be a big problem. It would not be easy to replace him. He's right at the top level now.

"You're talking about [Thibaut] Courtois, [Manuel] Neuer, that level of goalkeeper, that's where he is now. I think he is better than [Hugo] Lloris," Neville added. "Manchester United have got to sort that issue [De Gea's potential Real Madrid move] out. They've gone through the early years of flapping and inexperience [with him]."

Real Madrid almost brought former Atletico Madrid stopper De Gea to the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer of 2015, but an administrative error bizarrely kept him at Manchester United. De Gea may still have designs on a move to Real Madrid, which could well come to pass this summer, but his immediate focus lies on the Red Devils' Premier League clash with Swansea City on Sunday afternoon.

David de Gea
De Gea has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world at Old Trafford Getty Images