David de Gea departs Manchester United after 12-year spell

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(FILES) Manchester United´s Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea celebrates after their victory in the English League Cup final football match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium, north-west London on February 26, 2023.—AFP
(FILES) Manchester United´s Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea celebrates after their victory in the English League Cup final football match between Manchester United and Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium, north-west London on February 26, 2023.—AFP 

After 12 years at Manchester United, Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea has confirmed that he will be leaving the club this summer, stating that it is the right time for him to undertake a new challenge. 

The 32-year-old, who became a free agent after his contract with United expired in June, holds several club records for a goalkeeper, including 545 appearances and 190 clean sheets.

In a farewell message to Manchester United supporters on social media, de Gea expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the love he received during his time at the club. He reflected on the successful period since joining United from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and the achievements they had together. De Gea also acknowledged the impact of Manchester on his career, stating that the city would always hold a special place in his heart.

The decision regarding de Gea’s departure came after a change in the framework of a contract extension that had initially been agreed upon between the player and the club. Negotiations extended over several months, and both sides ultimately concluded that it was time to move on. While de Gea’s destination remains uncertain, there have been links to a potential move to the Saudi Pro League.

With de Gea’s departure, Manchester United will need to consider their options for a new number-one goalkeeper. The club has been engaged in positive initial discussions regarding a possible deal for Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana. However, the price and priorities for reinforcements, including the need for a central striker, will play a crucial role in shaping their transfer plans. In the meantime, Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton are the experienced goalkeeping options for United, with Heaton likely to feature in their opening pre-season game against Leeds.

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