De Gea confirms Man United departure after 12 years at club

David de Gea has declared his intention to leave Manchester United this summer and stated that this is the ideal time for him to take on a new challenge.

The custodian departed the team 12 years after coming from Atletico Madrid in 2011 because he and the club were unable to come to an agreement on a new deal to extend his tenure.

De Gea was quite close to signing a new contract, but negotiations broke down at the end of the season. According to sources who spoke to ESPN, United and Inter Milan are in talks over the sale of Cameroon custodian Andre Onana.

“I just wanted to send this farewell message to all Manchester United supporters,” De Gea wrote on social media Saturday.

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

“I took incredible pride everytime I pulled on this shirt, to lead the team, to represent this institution, the biggest club in the world was an honor only bestowed upon a few lucky footballers.

“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.

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“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. We’ve seen it all.”

De Gea was a member of the United team that won the 2012–13 Premier League championship under Sir Alex Ferguson, making 545 appearances for the club, ranking seventh all-time. Along with the Europa League in 2017, he also won the FA Cup in 2016 and the Carabao Cup in 2017 and 2023.

In a club statement released on Saturday shortly after De Gea’s announcement, manager Erik ten Hag said: “It takes great quality and character to reach the level of even playing one game for Manchester United.

“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.

“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.”