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David De Gea deal would send a signal - Man Utd legend Peter Schmeichel

Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel says that signing David De Gea to a new contract would send a message to their rivals.

De Gea, 24, joined United for 18.6 million pounds in 2011 and has become one of the best goalkeepers in world football during his time at Old Trafford. However, his current deal expires in 2016 when he becomes a free agent, with Real Madrid monitoring the situation as they seek a long-term replacement for Iker Casillas.

Reports in the British media have now suggested that De Gea is closing in on a new deal, as Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has apparently cooled his interest in the Spain international.

Sources have told ESPN FC that United will not renew any contracts for the 10 players whose deals expire in 2016 until the summer, but if they are to make an exception for anyone on that list it is likely to be De Gea and Schmeichel wants his former side to cement his future quickly.

"It's very important the club's best players sign new contracts to send a signal," he told Sky Sports News HQ. "It shows that they believe in the Manchester United project and believe the club will go back not only to the top of the Premier League but also European football.

"If De Gea signs a new deal it would be a very big signal and I'm sure everyone who loves the club would love that. Fingers crossed he will sign another five-year contract."

Manchester United must also decide what to do with Radamel Falcao, who joined on loan from Monaco last summer.

The Colombian has struggled with injury and form, but is one of the best strikers in the world on his day and Schmeichel claims that if he can regain full fitness then he is worth the reported 50 million pounds that United would have to spend to make his signing permanent.

David De Gea has an uncertain future and plenty of clubs interested in him.

"We knew when he came that he had this injury and it was his reaction to coming back that was to be the exciting part," the 51-year-old said.

"Unfortunately he's had more injuries but if he is 100 percent from next season then he's the kind of player that I think Manchester United would love to add permanently to the club.

"He has proven himself to be a fantastic goal scorer in the past and he's been unlucky in the last 18 months. Hopefully he can get through this injury hell and get back to what he used to be."

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