David De Gea has issued Manchester United with an ultimatum a to ensure an immediate return to the Champions League.

De Gea’s United future remains unclear, with the Spain goalkeeper out of contract at the end of next season and with a new deal yet to be agreed.

Real Madrid are keen to sign the A?50 million-rated keeper and De Gea’s words could be interpreted as a veiled threat to United over his unresolved future.

United are desperate to tie De Gea down to a new deal and the 24-year-old said they must make sure they are back among European football’s elite next season.

a We have to qualify for the Champions League no matter what,a said De Gea. a We already missed out last season, and a team like Manchester United cannot do that two years in a row.a

The Manchester United Keeper has credited English football for helping him turn into one of the world’s best young keepers, one Real want to succeed their legendary stopper and skipper Iker Casillas.

a Truth be told, English football has changed me a great deal,a said De Gea. a I’ve developed a lot physically, greatly improved my concentration and generally improved all aspects of my game.

a I was very young when I came here, but four years on, things are very good overall. This league really suits me, as you learn a lot here.

a I’m a composed, calm type, which helps me in my profession. As a keeper, you need to convey a sense of calm to the rest of the team.a

Louis van Gaal signed Victor Valdes on a free in January as a backup to De Gea, and the United No. 1 said he is learning from his 33-year-old compatriot.

“Victor Valdes and I work very well together, I’m very happy to be with him,” he said of the former Barcelona keeper. “I’m learning so much from him, not just in goalkeeping terms given his immense experience, but also as a person.

a Hea s a very straightforward guy with a lot of character. Moreover, hea s always ready to lend a hand, trying to help out with his advice, especially during games.

De Gea’s fine form has led to speculation linking him with replacing Iker Casillas for both club and country and when asked about succeeding Casillas for good, De Gea replied: “For the moment, no. At present there are three of us and Iker [Casillas] remains the first choice.

“You never know what the future holds so you just have to live in the moment, try to train as best you can and take advantage of whatever opportunities the boss gives you. Living in the present is what matters most.”