The ex-Barcelona keeper has been training at Carrington for the last few weeks in order to regain his full fitness and there has been a suggestion he was brought in by Louis van Gaal to prepare for De Gea’s exit.
However, De Gea has rubbished the rumours and although he hasn’t completely dismissed any possibility of a move to Real Madrid, he made it clear Valdes posed no threat to him.
“Yes, my contract runs out in 2016. But they didn’t sign him for that [to replace me]”, he told AS.
“Victor had a difficult injury, he had a bad time and the boss knows him well and has given him the opportunity to recover there.
“Yes, Victor is training over in Manchester — he’s still not 100 percent after his injury. When he is fully fit he will start to train with us. He’s still not training in goal with us. From time to time he comes out with the goalkeeping coach, but very little still.
“Van Gaal knows him well because he gave Victor his debut at Barca and has a special affection for him and, whenever possible, we have to help where we can.
“Football is cruel at times, it’s difficult. When things go well you’re very good and when they go badly… well, it’s awful.”
At 32, Valdes is a full eight years older than De Gea but there’s no question who is the better goalkeeper nowadays. Currently, De Gea is one of the best goalkeepers in the world on form and he just seems to keep getting better.
Valdes is enjoying his time at United and is closing in on a return but although he could join United as a potential backup with Anders Lindegaard likely to leave this summer, he falls some way short of De Gea’s quality and United are in no rush to sell one of their best players.