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Edwin van der Sar warns David de Gea he is replaceable ahead of potential return to Manchester United

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De Gea is stalling on signing a new deal (Picture: Getty)

Edwin van der Sar has warned David de Gea is not irreplaceable ahead of a potential return to Manchester United .

The former United stopper has been linked with the director of football post at Old Trafford, but has remained tight lipped about talks with the club.

But while United try to hire a director of football, De Gea is giving the club another headache by stalling on signing a new long-term contract.

Terms are agreed between De Gea and United on a reported £350,000-a-week contract, but the Spaniard is yet to put pen to paper.

Van der Sar could be United’s director of football (Picture: Getty)

Van der Sar was once the man between the sticks for United and believes there are plenty of goalkeepers who could step up to replace De Gea.

‘The decision needs to come at a certain point,’ Van der Sar said about De Gea.

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‘It takes a long time now, so it’s a case of “yes” or “no”, but I’m not a director of United.

De Gea could become the Premier League’s best paid player (Picture: Getty)

‘Other goalkeepers can also fill the gap. There are a few Premier League goalkeepers playing at the club who can also take the step up.

‘I was 34 when I went to United. So there are lots of opportunities there.’

United decided to match De Gea’s huge wage demands despite the fact his form has dipped in the last year.

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De Gea’s contract expires next summer and Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid have shown an interest in signing the 28-year-old.

The goalkeeper could become the Premier League’s top earner if he signs the new deal and Van der Sar dismissed concern United were investing in a player in decline.

Asked if De Gea’s recent form was a worry, Van der Sar replied: ‘No. That happened to me, it happened to Ryan Giggs also, to everyone.

De Gea’s form has dipped in the last year (Picture: PA)

‘Your form differs. He has been for so long at such a high level, so at a certain point it gets noticed, maybe not the first two times, but then people start to write about it. But he’ll be fine. He’s a great goalkeeper.’

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Van der Sar, who is currently Ajax’s chief executive, dismissed speculation about his own future when asked directly about a return to United.

He said: ‘You never know. At the moment, Ajax is the principle thought where I’m putting all my time and effort in and whatever happens in the future, we will see.’

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