David de Gea insists Manchester United are desperate to play in Europe next season -- even though it is looking ever more unlikely they can qualify for the Champions League.
United, who have five games left, are 10 points behind fourth-placed Arsenal and could be 11 behind Everton after Roberto Martinez’s team face Crystal Palace on Wednesday.
And with the Premier League’s fifth- and sixth-placed sides set to go into the Europa League, it is likely that if United, who are currently seventh, qualify for continental competition, it will be the Thursday-night tournament.
But while leaders Liverpool have benefited from not playing European football to mount a title challenge, goalkeeper De Gea said United are determined to ensure they do again next year.
"We are Manchester United and it's our duty to win every game we take part in,” the goalkeeper told the club’s official website.
"That's what we'll try to do now because we want to finish as high as we can in the league, ensure we're playing in a European competition next season and show we are still around and that we will never give in."
United reached the last eight of the Champions League, going out to defending champions Bayern Munich after drawing 1-1 at Old Trafford and losing 3-1 at the Allianz Arena.
“The Bayern defeat was hard to take,” De Gea added. “We put in two really good performances and with a bit of luck, I think we could have got through.”
The Spaniard’s former club Atletico Madrid knocked out Barcelona to reach the semifinals and he will be cheering them on now as they bid to win the Champions League for the first time, adding: “It is in their hands and they could go all the way.”