David de Gea
David de Gea is said to be ready to move to Real Madrid at the end of the season Getty Images

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has admitted the Premier League giants are planning for life without David de Gea as arguably their best player of the season is expected to move to Real Madrid at the end of the campaign.

And even though the Dutch boss has insisted the club's intention is to keep De Gea at Old Trafford, he has revealed they have already drawn up a list of potential replacements for their number one should he decides against renewing his contract and move to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Stoke City 'keeper Asmir Begovic, Chelsea's Petr Cech, Tottenham Hotspur's Hugo Lloris, Inter Milan's Samir Handanovic and Victor Valdes, who had his debut for United against Arsenal in the 1-1 draw, are among the potential candidates to fill De Gea's gloves at Old Trafford.

IBTimes UK analyses the pros and cons of the five of the potential replacements.

Victor Valdes, Manchester United

The former Barcelona number one is the most obvious choice. He joined Manchester United as a free agent in January to back-up De Gea despite previously being linked with Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool.

It may have been surprising that such an experienced goalkeeper would accept an understudy role at United but if makes more sense if Van Gaal told Valdes that De Gea's days at the club were numbered and sooner rather than later he would have a chance to prove his worth.

The 33-year-old was among the best goalkeepers in the world – if not the best – before he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee during Barcelona's 3-0 victory over Celta in March 2014.

He knows how to deal with the pressure of a team such as United after being part of Barcelona's golden era, winning six La Liga titles, three Champions League crowns, two Copa del Reys, two European Super Cups and the Club World Cup twice.

However his long-term injury, his age and his height (1.83m) may complicate his adaptation to the aerial demands of the Premier League.

Asmir Begovic, Stoke City

The Stoke City number one has everything in his favour to become the new United goalkeeper –but not necessarily as the number one.

With only one more year on his contract at the Britannia Stadium, the Bosnia 'keeper is reportedly against renewing his deal and tipped to leave the club for a bigger challenge this summer, and could be available for as little as £10m.

He has garnered a reputation as one of the best 'keepers in the Premier League in recent seasons and, at the age of 27, he still has a bright future ahead.

Considering the big step up from Stoke to United, Begovic may accept the challenge to be Valdes's understudy if the opportunity arises.

However, his lack of experience at a big club may see him struggle with the pressure that comes with playing for United.

Petr Cech
Petr Cech is expected to leave Stamford Bridge this summer Getty Images

Petr Cech, Chelsea

The Chelsea 'keeper looks like the safest, more consistent option to replace De Gea – but he would be a tricky option to get.

The Czech international is expected to leave Stamford Bridge for around £10m after falling out of favour, due to Thibaut Courtois being granted the starting role between the sticks this season.

Cech has vast experienced in English football and proven quality to succeed at a Premier League giant.

Even though he is 32, something that may be viewed as a disadvantage, United fans cannot forget that Edwin van der Sar was signed two years older, while goalkeepers tend to end their careers later than outfield players.

Arsenal, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain are also reportedly interested in securing his services while Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho will surely favour Cech moving to a team outside of the Premier League.

Hugo Lloris, Tottenham Hotspur

The France international has been one of Tottenham's best players since former manager Andre Villas-Boas signed him from Lyon in the summer of 2012 for around £8m.

The 28-year-old is the ideal age to make a step up in his career and has experience both in a major national team and a top Premier League club.

Even though he has suggested on a number of occasions that he may leave White Hart Lane for a Champions League club, it looks unlikely that Spurs chairman Daniel Levy will want to negotiate his departure for less than £30m.

Samir Handanovic, Inter Milan

The Slovenia number one is considered one of the best goalkeepers in Europe and his height of 1.93m makes him a perfect fit for the Premier League.

With Inter Milan eighth in Serie A, he is said to be looking for a summer move and at 30, this could be his last chance to move to a bigger club.

At his age, it looks unlikely he can develop further while his lack of Premier League experience means it would be a gamble.