David de Gea confirms he is leaving Manchester United after 12 years

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David de Gea has left Manchester United after 12 years with the club following the expiration of his contract.

The goalkeeper joined United from Atlético Madrid for £17m in 2011 and went on to make 545 appearances, keeping a club-record 190 clean sheets in the process.

“I would like to express my unwavering gratitude and appreciation for the love from the last 12 years,” De Gea said in a statement. “We’ve achieved a lot since my dear Sir Alex Ferguson brought me to this club.”

During his time at Old Trafford, De Gea won the Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League and two Carabao Cups but his position has been under heavy scrutiny since the arrival of Erik ten Hag last summer.

De Gea’s style does not fit with what the manager wants in a modern goalkeeper, demanding someone who is more assured with the ball at their feet. High-profile errors against West Ham in the league and against Manchester City in the FA Cup final have not helped the Spaniard’s cause.

De Gea still won the Premier League’s Golden Glove for keeping most clean sheets last season, though, and will not be short of suitors.

“I took incredible pride every time I pulled on this shirt, to lead the team, to represent this institution, the biggest club in the world was an honour only bestowed upon a few lucky footballers,” De Gea added. “It’s been an unforgettable and successful period since I came here.

“I didn’t think from leaving Madrid as a young boy we would achieve what we did together. Now, it’s the right time to undertake a new challenge, to push myself again in new surroundings. Manchester will always be in my heart, Manchester has shaped me and will never leave me.”

United are already working to replace De Gea, with the Internazionale goalkeeper André Onana top of their list. Talks have been held between the two clubs and there is hope that a deal will be concluded to bring the Cameroon international, who played under Ten Hag at Ajax, to England.

“It takes great quality and character to reach the level of even playing one game for Manchester United,” Ten Hag said. “To do it 545 times over 12 years is a special achievement, particularly in the goalkeeping position where every game puts you in the spotlight.

“To have won Player of the Year awards from both the fans and his teammates, each on four occasions, shows the level of his performance and he will always be remembered as one of the very best goalkeepers in the history of the club,” the manager added.

“I am personally grateful for the 25 clean sheets he helped provide last season and his overall contribution on the pitch during my first year at the club. All the players and staff send him our very best wishes for the next phase of his outstanding career.”

David de Gea confirms he is leaving Manchester United after 12 years
David de Gea confirms he is leaving Manchester United after 12 years

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