Premier League

David de Gea says Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is 'a father figure' to Old Trafford youngsters

David de Gea: With Ferguson after signing for Manchester United in June 2011

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Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has described Sir Alex Ferguson as being 'a father figure' to him.

The 22-year-old is currently in his second season at Old Trafford, having joined from Atletico Madrid in June 2011.

The Spaniard has received plenty of criticism in the English media during his time with United, but has always been backed by his manager.

De Gea is currently with the Spain international squad for their World Cup qualifying fixtures and when asked to compare Ferguson with his national coach Vicente del Bosque, he told AS: "They are two great coaches and everyone has their own things but, yes, the two are very paternalistic.

"I know Ferguson a little more and he is like a father, especially for young people."

As for his criticism in the press, he added: "The truth is that many times it does not make much sense but I prefer not to pay much attention and keep training and keep playing.

"I have three years left on my contract and the truth is I'm very happy, it's a great club and when you're a part of it you realise how big it is."