Sunday 23 October 2016

Dramatic U-turn for Man United as David De Gea pens new four-year deal

Published 11/09/2015 | 12:13

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea

David de Gea has signed a new four-year contract with Manchester United.

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The announcement of the deal completes a remarkable turn of events after the Spain goalkeeper was on the brink of joining Real Madrid last week before the transfer collapsed on deadline day in Spain.

United said in a statement released on their official Twitter account: "David de Gea has signed a new four-year contract at #mufc with an option to extend for a further year."

De Gea added in an official club statement: "I am delighted to be starting this new chapter in my United career.

"I have always enjoyed playing with these great players in front of our fantastic fans. Manchester United is a special club and Old Trafford is an ideal place for me to continue to develop my career.

"I'm looking forward to putting a difficult summer behind me and concentrating on working hard to improve and help my team-mates to be successful."

Louis van Gaal was understandably pleased by the fact that De Gea had committed his future to the club.

"I am absolutely delighted David has signed a new contract," the United manager said.

"He is one of the best goalkeepers in world football. I am very pleased that he will be part of the team for many years to come.

"David made a very important contribution to our performance last season and he has been the club's Player of the Year for the last two seasons.

"He is a popular player who is keen to learn and enhance his game. At such a young age for a goalkeeper, he has many years ahead of him."

Considering the events of the last few months, it is nothing short of remarkable that De Gea has now committed his future to the club.

The 24-year-old had been the subject of strong interest from Madrid all summer.

De Gea had intimated that he was wiling to move to the Spanish capital, where his pop star girlfriend Edurne Garcia lives, but carried on training at United in a professional manner.

In July senior sources at Old Trafford said they had given up hope of persuading De Gea to sign a long-term contract - which had been on the table since last season.

And last week it seemed almost certain the player would leave United for the Bernabeu.

The two clubs agreed a deal worth £29million for the player on deadline day.

But that deal collapsed when the relevant paperwork was not submitted before the 11pm deadline and the goalkeeper has now decided to sign a new contract.

Van Gaal had kept De Gea out of his starting line-up for the first six matches of the season because he felt the Spaniard was not able to focus properly owing to Madrid's interest in him.

But the United boss is now considering recalling the former Atletico Madrid stopper for Saturday's home match against Liverpool.

De Gea later tweeted: "I feel proud to announce that I'll continue with you and @manutd. Thanks for your unconditional support!"

Senior sources inside Old Trafford believe that De Gea signed a new deal with the club simply because he felt United wanted him more than Madrid.

United made Madrid aware of their asking price for De Gea - either £32.6million or a part-exchange involving Sergio Ramos - at the start of the summer, but the Spanish giants failed to act until the final day of the transfer window.

That did not go down well with De Gea, it seems.

It is understood that as soon as the proposed transfer collapsed, Ed Woodward gave his version of events to De Gea and he is understood to have been happy that United had acted in the correct manner on deadline day.

The executive vice-chairman then suggested to the player that contract talks could be reopened again and told De Gea that he could still have a long-term future at United.

It is also worth noting that the offer Woodward put on the table - a deal worth around £200,000 a week - was a vast improvement on his previous contract, which he signed when he joined United four years ago.

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