Young sustained a knee injury in the victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford a fortnight ago and Ferguson expected the England international to return for last weekend's draw at Tottenham. The former Aston Villa man did not make it and there have been claims the injury is much more longer term that Ferguson first anticipated.
However, the United boss insisted Young is not far away from a return and will be fit to face Jose Mourinho's men. And he said: "Ashley is not far away. He has done a bit of training and he is on the road back."
Asked whether he would be fit for the Real Madrid games, Ferguson replied: "I am sure of that."
"It has taken a bit longer than we thought but he has done a bit of training too," said Ferguson. "But the fact we have Chris Smalling and Phil Jones fit is a big bonus to us."
Neville was critical of De Gea's weak punch at White Hart Lane, which led to Tottenham's injury-time equaliser.
That led to claims from TalkSPORT presenter Richard Keys that Neville had been ordered to make the comments, which have been dismissed by all parties.
"I am not getting into that at all," said Ferguson. "You have to listen to some idiots in the game."