Alex Ferguson denies Manchester United have agreed deal for David de Gea

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The Independent Online

Sir Alex Ferguson has distanced himself from speculation Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign David de Gea from Atletico Madrid.

With Edwin van der Sar due to retire in the summer, Ferguson is in the hunt for a new number one keeper and De Gea has been heavily linked with United for a number of months.

And reports have emerged in Spain tonight claiming a transfer has already been agreed with Atletico for De Gea.

However, after watching his side book their place in the last four of the Champions League, Ferguson refused to give credence to the reports.

"On Italian television I am supposed to be signing two players from Italy tonight, so I can place that story along with those," he said.

"There is always speculation about who we are going to sign. So many people throw names at me. I can't answer it."

Atletico chief Miguel Angel Gil Marin also denied the claims last night, saying: "As of today, Atletico count on him for next season."

Instead, Ferguson confirmed he intends to fly to Germany to watch Schalke take on Inter Milan tonight, with the winner set to meet United in the Champions League semi-final later this month.

Schalke are overwhelming favourites, although having dispatched Chelsea 3-1 on aggregate, Ferguson has no need to fear anyone, particularly with Ryan Giggs in such fine form.

Giggs was credited with the assist for both United goals last night, crossing for Javier Hernandez to put them ahead before chipping a brilliant pass to Park Ji-sung after Didier Drogba had threatened a Chelsea comeback.

"We have said it so many times about the man. He is just incredible," said Ferguson.

"He is a unique person and player, who has made a great contribution to this tie. His experience and composure were vital.

"Ryan has fantastic balance. He has never lost that.

"He is also lucky in that he has a superb physique. He has never carried any weight and looks after himself.

"You need to make tremendous sacrifice to still be playing at 37."

Ferguson must now get his players together for the mouthwatering FA Cup semi-final with Manchester City at Wembley on Saturday.

The United boss has previously stated their is a potential for chaos given it falls on the same weekend as the London Marathon, whilst the capital is also hosting Arsenal against Liverpool on Sunday.

However, Ferguson concedes there were not many alternatives.

"I don't know where you could have played it," he said.

"You can get 90,000 people into Wembley. That is the reason it is there.

"You could say in the current economic climate it is a bit unfair for fans to travel but for our fans and City fans, they are just delighted to be in a semi-final."



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