Manchester United manager Louis Van Gaal has praised goalkeeper David De Gea’s performance against Barcelona in their 3-1 win over the Catalan giants and stated that he is hopeful that the Spanish 24 year old stays at Old Trafford.

The 63 year old Dutch gaffer did not provide any guarantees over the future of the Real Madrid target and said that he is hopeful that his number one will stay at the theatre of dreams.

Rumours about the Spanish goalkeeper being a Real Madrid target have been circulating throughout the whole summer and even after signing Kiko Casilla, Madrid are still interested in the goalkeeper.

The Spanish international, who is awarded “Manchester United Player of the Year” for the last two seasons, made his first appearance of the pre-season against Barcelona yesterday and played a key role for the English club’s victory against the European champions.

The Spain international played an hour at the Levi’s Stadium, California, denying Barca’s Sergi Roberto when through one-on-one in the first half, and earned effusive praise from his manager.

“In spite of his injury – he hasn’t trained for one week – he showed his quality in this game,” van Gaal told reporters.

“The first chance was for Barcelona and when you stop the first chance you can score the first goal – which we did – and that is always a difference in the game.

“Yes of course I do hope De Gea shall stay, but in this world of football you never know.”

David De Gea has only one year remaining in his Manchester United contract and seemed to making up his mind to join the Los Blancos this summer but the stubbornness of Manchester United prevented any deal to be finalised and Real signed Kiko Casilla from Espanyol to replace departed Iker Casillas what seemed to be Real’s admission of failure in securing the signature of their target.

But the comments from the manager about his uncertainty over his player’s future has again started speculations regarding De Gea.