David de Gea has been with Manchester United for 12 years.
David de Gea has been with Manchester United for 12 years.

David de Gea, a veteran goalie, has said that he is leaving Manchester United following 12 years as a free agent.

The 32 year-old’s contract with United ended at the end of June, and even though discussions took place all season, no new deal was reached.

De Gea moved to United from Atletico Madrid in 2011. He played 545 games for the Premier League team and kept 190 clean sheets, which are both club records for a goalkeeper.

In a post on social media on Saturday, De Gea thanks United fans for their support but also said, “Now is the right moment to take on a new challenge, and test myself again in new conditions.”

United said “Thank you, David” on its website and declared him a “record breaker.” It stated that De Gea “won a number of trophies and personal honors that made him one of the best goalkeepers in the club’s history.”

When De Gea’s deal ended last Friday, United said they were still in talks with the Spain goalie, who won the Premier League, FA Cup, Europa League, and two League Cups with the club. After hearing that De Gea had signed a contract deal, the club pulled the offer and made a new one with less favorable terms.

Andre Onana, the goalie for Inter Milan, has been linked to a move to United.

De Gea wrote, “I’d like to say how grateful and thankful I am for all the love over the past 12 years.” “Since my good friend Sir Alex Ferguson brought me to this club, we’ve done a lot.”

He also said, “Manchester will always be in my heart. Manchester has formed me and will never leave me. We’ve seen it all.”

United boss Erik ten Hag said nice things about De Gea, who won the golden glove award in the Premier League last year. Ten Hag said, “It takes a lot of skill and guts to get to the point where you can even play one game for Manchester United.” “To do it 545 times in 12 years is a big deal, especially for a goalkeeper, whose job puts him or her in the spotlight every game.

“Both the fans and his teammates gave him Player of the Year awards four times each, which shows how well he played. He will always be known as one of the best goalkeepers in the club’s history.

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