Craig Bellamy said he would be shocked if Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea did not join Real Madrid in the future.

De Gea, 27, has been the subject of ongoing speculation over a move to Madrid since his transfer to the Santiago Bernabeu sensationally collapsed due to a faulty fax machine in 2015.

The former Atletico Madrid shot-stopper has continued to earn rave reviews in the Premier League, firmly establishing himself as one of the best keepers in the world amid the ongoing rumours of a return to Spain.

Ex-Manchester City and Wales forward Bellamy believes Spain international De Gea – contracted to United until 2019 – will end up at Madrid, who have also been linked with Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois.

"He is the real deal and I have always felt that Real Madrid have been looking for him to be their number one for a number of years," Bellamy told Sky Sports. "And it is just a matter of time before they get him.

"His footwork is brilliant, he anticipates as well, he can read forwards and if you watch, he makes a lot of his saves with his feet. He is incredible.

"He asks the forward so many questions when you are gunning down on him and he is a real top goalkeeper."

Madrid became the first team to win back-to-back Champions League titles last season, while they also claimed LaLiga with Keylor Navas as their number one keeper.

However, the Spanish and European titleholders have struggled this term, languishing 19 points behind leaders and rivals Barcelona.

Bellamy added: "Usually every top club has a rebuild and maybe it has been a little bit more overdue with Madrid because of the success of they have had in the Champions League.

"But I see De Gea being a huge part of that and Real Madrid do spend money, they always have done, they have been quiet over the last few years.

"So probably due to the fact that it will take a huge fee to get him and prise him away from Man United, I would be shocked if he did not go."