Manchester United European Cup winner Alex Stepney hopes Atletico Madrid No1 David De Gea has the nerve to thrive at Old Trafford.

The deal has intrigued United legend Stepney, a hero in goal of the 1968 European Cup triumph against Benfica at Wembley.

Stepney told the Daily Star Sunday: "The secret of succeeding at Old Trafford as a goalkeeper is not to be flash, do your job - and keep clean sheets. If a keeper does that, he will quickly get the crowd on his side. It was like that in my day and it is like that now, because United have ­always been the biggest club in the country and Old Trafford the biggest stage.

"There have been some classic cases of ­keepers not starting well at United and if that happens, it can be a struggle.

"But the thing about him is that he hasn't come from the lower ­divisions. He has been playing against clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona, so from the start he has been used to facing top ­opposition on big stages.

"In 40-odd games in La Liga this season, he has kept 24 clean sheets and that is ­impressive. And if Sir Alex thinks he's the one to take over from Van der Sar - which is a big task - then that speaks for ­itself."

Stepney added: "He is clearly young and promising and has been described as the best young goalkeeper in the world - but he still isn't a full international. That's because Spain have goalkeepers like Iker Casillas at Real Madrid and Pepe Reina at Liverpool but if De Gea does well at United, I am sure he will get his chance with his ­country."

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