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De Gea expects good times to return at United with Mourinho

Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Spain Training Session - Complexe Sportif Marcel Gaillard, Saint Martin de Re, France - 9/6/16 - Spain's goalkeeper David de Gea attends training session. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
Football Soccer - Euro 2016 - Spain Training Session - Complexe Sportif Marcel Gaillard, Saint Martin de Re, France - 9/6/16 - Spain's goalkeeper David de Gea attends training session. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

MADRID (Reuters) - Jose Mourinho's arrival at Manchester United will put the 20-times English champions back where they belong, goalkeeper David de Gea says.

The Portuguese coach replaced Louis van Gaal last month after United finished fifth in the Premier League to miss out on Champions League football for the second time in three seasons.

"I think United needed a coach like him -- a winning coach with personality," De Gea told Spain's Cadena Ser radio.

"United's decision to sign Mourinho is the right move."

Spaniard De Gea moved to United from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and won the Premier League in the 2012-13 campaign, Alex Ferguson's last season in charge before he retired.

Successor David Moyes lasted just 10 months before he was sacked while Van Gaal enjoyed more success in his two seasons, qualifying once for the Champions League and winning the FA Cup last month against Crystal Palace.

Yet there was general discontent at Old Trafford with their style of play and failure to mount a title challenge.

De Gea said United had to be challenging for the top prizes.

"I arrived at United to win titles; it's true that in the past two years we haven't been at the level that this club deserves, but we hope that with the coaching change, we can return United to the top," he said.

Mourinho won three Premier League titles in two spells at Chelsea and also won league titles at Porto, Inter Milan and Real Madrid as well as the Champions League with Inter.

De Gea came close to joining Real Madrid last summer, but the Spaniard says he is happy at Old Trafford now.

"I have three years left at Manchester, a club that has given me everything," the 25-year-old said.

"This is a very big club, that gives me a lot of affection each day. I'm very grateful to United, I'm very happy there."

De Gea is expected is expected to start in goal ahead of Iker Casillas in Spain's Euro 2016 opener against the Czech Republic on June 13.

(Editing by Martyn Herman)

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