Schmeichel: It’s an absolute joke

Peter Schmeichel has lambasted Manchester United for the manner in which they have dealt with the ongoing saga of goalkeeper David De Gea's future.

Real Madrid have been courting De Gea all summer, but with the transfer deadline next Tuesday, time is running out for the Red Devils to either prolong his contract or sell him.

And Schmeichel believes it is "an absolute joke" that the Old Trafford club did not resolve the issue before the start of the season.

Spain international De Gea has repeatedly declared his desire to return to his hometown Madrid and turn out for Los Blancos. United manager Louis van Gaal, however, refuses to sell the 24-year-old for anything less than £32,6million. As a result, the Spaniard has lost focus and not made a single appearance for the Manchester outfit this season.

"I'm very thankful for what he has done for Manchester United and I would not hold anything against him if he moves on, but I want the situation resolved because it's an absolute joke that it has carried on into the season," the former United goalkeeper told BBC Sport.

"A club like Manchester United, being in a transition period, needed to be ready for the season with every issue resolved and not having two or three still hanging out there but hopefully it gets resolved now.

"I would love David de Gea to commit to Manchester United and sign a new five-year contract. He has been absolutely outstanding in the last two seasons.

"But I also understand when Real Madrid – who are from his home town – when they come calling, of course you want to go back there.

"I want to know – is he with us or someone else? And if he is with someone else I want the manager to have the opportunity to go out and buy another goalkeeper."