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Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has told Goal it will be tough for the club to hold on to David de Gea if Real Madrid make a summer move for the star goalkeeper.

The Spanish number one has once again proved to be a key man for United this season, most recently starring in Wednesday’s underwhelming 0-0 Champions League draw at Sevilla with a couple of game-changing saves.

And Scholes believes that while extra support for striker Romelu Lukaku is needed, persuading De Gea to stay in Manchester has to be United’s priority in the summer transfer window.

“It has to be, but I think it will be difficult to do that if Real Madrid want him,” Scholes told Goal. “He’s obviously showing he’s the best goalkeeper in the world and if Madrid want him you can understand David wanting to go there, as much as we don’t want him to.

“We can understand he’s from Madrid and would be playing for a team that would be challenging for the Champions League season after season.

“But I still think a new centre forward is needed. You can’t just keep relying on Lukaku and the other players don’t seem to be centre forwards, they all seem to be wide players. So I still think he needs a top centre forward to take a little bit of pressure off Lukaku as well.”

Lukaku and De Gea are both expected to feature on Sunday as United face Chelsea in the Premier League at Old Trafford.

And Scholes, speaking at the Vimto Salford Challenge which celebrated a new partnership between local fruit juice giants Vimto and the Salford City side he co-owns, says he fully expects United to play a more expressive game following the criticism they received for their performance in Seville on Wednesday.

“I think they will be a bit different, you’re always a little bit different at home,” he added. “It’s always quite difficult when you go away from home and Sevilla are no mugs, they’ve won the Europa League a few times and they’re playing in a top league with some top teams so it was always going to be difficult.

“They didn’t play probably as well as they would have wanted to but they’ve got the right result and you’d expect them to go through in the second game.”

United host Sevilla in the second leg of the round-of-16 tie on March 13.

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