David de Gea: Manchester United’s shot-stopper set to become a free agent


Manchester United's David De Gea during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St. James Park on April 2, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom.

Manchester United’s star goalkeeper, David de Gea contract will come to an end on Friday with no decision over whether he will remain at Old Trafford. The news has sent shockwaves throughout the footballing world, leaving fans in disbelief, while rival clubs eagerly line up to secure the world-class shot-stopper’s services.

De Gea, 32, arrived at Old Trafford in 2011 with a massive price tag and a promising reputation from his time at Atletico Madrid. Over the years, the Spaniard firmly established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, becoming a key figure in United’s successes, including Premier League titles and Europa League triumphs.

It is understood the framework of a contract extension that had been agreed was subsequently changed.

This has led to both sides stepping back to reflect on the situation and preferred direction.

De Gea is getting married this weekend and face-to-face talks will not resume until after this period is over.

The Spain goalkeeper, 32, has spent 12 years at the club, where he has played in 545 games.

United remain in contact with De Gea, whose response to the huge amount of speculation around his future was to post a yawning emoji on Twitter earlier this week.

However, recent seasons have seen de Gea’s form dip, leading to scrutiny from fans and pundits alike. With the emergence of Dean Henderson, who has shown immense potential, speculation surrounding de Gea’s future at the club began to swirl. It seems that the moment has finally arrived, and United’s goal machine is set to move on.

Last season, the four-time United player of the year won the Premier League Golden Glove for the second time as he kept 17 clean sheets.

Both De Gea and manager Erik ten Hag spoke confidently at the end of last season about the player staying at the club.

He could still sign a contract but from Saturday, the Spaniard can sign for any other club, having been free to agree pre-contract terms with overseas suitors in January.

United have been wanting De Gea to take a substantial pay cut from the record £375,000-per-week deal he signed in 2019.

Even at a reduced level, De Gea’s contract would still put him in the top range of goalkeepers and it is difficult to see him matching those terms elsewhere.

However, if he does opt to leave the club after 12 seasons, during which time he has won five major honours, a record four club player-of-the-year awards and is the last remaining player to have won a Premier League title at United, it will create a problem for Ten Hag.

It is understood tentative discussions have taken place with Inter Milan’s highly-rated Cameroon goalkeeper  Onana. However, Ten Hag is operating on a limited budget and, after reaching an agreement to sign Mason Mount from Chelsea for £55m and with United also targeting a centre-forward, they would need to sell before making a move for 27-year-old Onana.

United have triggered a one-year option for veteran keeper Tom Heaton, who is attracting interest from Luton, while Dean Henderson has returned to the club to recover from the thigh injury he sustained during his loan spell with Nottingham Forest in January.

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