United have offered the Spain international, who moved to Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid in 2011, a new deal amid speculation he is poised for a return to La Liga.
Manager Louis van Gaal has admitted he has no idea if the 24-year-old will still be at the club next season, but former United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele told Sky Sports News HQ that De Gea could be part of something special if he stays in the north west.
“We knew what we were buying, we were buying potentially one of the best goalkeepers in the world, not just in Europe,” said Steele, who left United when David Moyes succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013 and now works at Derby County.
“Sir Alex had a great belief in young players in his 27 years but he’d never gone and got a goalkeeper at 19.
“But he backed that goalkeeper and the one that you are seeing now four years on is the one we expected to see, but we knew it would take time.
“Peter Schmeichel didn’t go to United until he was 28. Edwin van der Sar was at United when he was 40. His best years are still to come.
“At 24, he’s won a Europa League, he’s won two U21 Championships. He’s a winner. I’d put him in the top four or five in the world, but again, he’s still learning.
“Personally, I’d love him to stay because I think he’s done a fanatstic job. I’m hoping the lure of Champions League football might just tempt David but there’s only one man who knows the answer of where he wants to go.”