The Spain Under-21 keeper has been identified by Sir Alex Ferguson as the long-term successor to Edwin van der Sar at Old Trafford.
United are prepared to spend upwards of £17million in order to secure his signature, with it widely agreed that he is the most promising shot-stopper in Europe.
De Gea underlined his obvious potential on Saturday as he helped Spain to European U21 Championship glory.
Having put transfer discussions on hold while he competed in that tournament, he is now prepared to push ahead with a move to England.
De Gea has been pictured arriving at the Bridgewater Hospital and is all set to put the finishing touches to an agreement with United.
His arrival at Old Trafford will see the Red Devils push their summer spending spree past the £50million mark and continue with their policy of snapping up bright young talent.
Such is the Spaniard's reputation that compatriot and Liverpool goalkeeper Jose Reina, who seems likely to face De Gea when the north-west rivals clash at Anfield on October 15, reacted positively to the player's move.
"I very much welcome this news because David is a great keeper," he told La Gaceta.
"When it becomes official he is going to start working to prove in the Premier League what a good goalkeeper he is."
Following the retirements of Van der Sar, Paul Scholes and Gary Neville from last season Ferguson has moved quickly to strengthen in three areas, bringing in players who all - in theory - should have their best years ahead of them.
The Red Devils boss is believed to want to add more creativity to his midfield and has been linked with Inter Milan's Wesley Sneijder and Arsenal's Samir Nasri.
Ferguson has already acquired England Under-21 centre-half Phil Jones from Blackburn and England winger Ashley Young from Aston Villa.