Van Gaal dropped De Gea from the starting XI at the start of this season due to uncertainty over the Spaniard’s proposed move to Real Madrid.
However, van Gaal has since reinstated De Gea after the keeper signed a new contract at the club when his transfer to Madrid broke down due to late paperwork.
De Gea insisted he enjoys a positive relationship with the Dutchman and that Man United’s players try to bring his “aggression” and “attitude” out onto the pitch when they play.
“From outside, you see a person with a lot of character, which is what he is,” De Gea said.
“[He is] a hard and strong coach, but that is what we also try to transmit out on the pitch — that aggression and that attitude the coach has. He is very methodical, and in the end things are going well for us.
Asked whether it was possible to be friends with someone with those characteristics, De Gea said: “In the end it is hard to be friends with any coach — you have a lot of respect for him, but it is difficult to be their friend.
“But he is a good person. You can talk with him about anything you want, and face to face he is sincere. We have a normal relationship between a coach and player. We both want what is best for the club. From the first I day I came back, after all that happened, he gave me a lot of confidence, told me I would play, to relax and keep doing what I had done before. He is a joker, makes a lot of jokes. Now and again likes to do something so that there is a good mood. But we talk mostly about football.”
De Gea seems to have settled back into life at Old Trafford brilliantly despite the furore that surrounded him this summer. Whether that is due to a rumoured clause in his new deal which would allow Madrid to sign him next year remains to be seen but, for now, he is a United player and the Old Trafford faithful are grateful that he is.