By Spain correspondent Miguel de Souza
David de Gea has revealed that the reception he received from Manchester United fans after his contract U-turn “made the hairs stand up”.
The Spanish goalkeeper insists he is now “very happy” at Old Trafford despite coming within a whisker of joining Real Madrid in the summer.
De Gea was dropped by Louis van Gaal at the start of the season as he attempted to engineer a move to the Bernabeu before the deal collapsed in the final minutes of the transfer window.
The 25-year-old has subsequently been re-integrated into the squad and has signed a new contract until 2019.
“The first game I returned, after all that had happened, was impressive,” De Gea recalled. “The way Old Trafford received me, it made the hairs stand up. It’s very difficult to describe what that day was like. I really appreciate it.
“I felt in that moment that to extend my contract was the best thing to do. I’m really happy now, at one of the biggest clubs in the world, where I feel loved by the fans.”
De Gea claims that he does not blame anyone for his Real transfer falling through at the last minute.
“Nobody let me down or disappointed me – these are things that happen,” he said. “You must look forward, and I am very happy now.
“During the market anything can happen, it can all change inside a minute. Football is like that. There were difficult moments, strange moments, but they help you to mature. To be stronger.”
The Spaniard, who is currently away on international duty ahead of Spain’s friendlies with England and Belgium, also lifted the lid on his relationship with manager Louis van Gaal.
“He is a good person,” said De Gea. “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 he likes to do something so that there is a good mood. But we talk mostly about football.”