Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has announced that he intends to hang up his boots at Old Trafford amid speculation surrounding his future.
The Spain international has now entered the final six months of his contract with the Red Devils and is free to begin discussions with foreign clubs over a pre-contract agreement.
De Gea, who has been with Man United since 2011, could then depart on a free transfer at the end of the season, and the Red Devils have not triggered a reported one-year extension clause in his deal.
The 31-year-old has held his position as Man United’s number one under Erik ten Hag, having kept Dean Henderson and Martin Dubravka – who has since returned to parent club Newcastle United – at bay.
Nevertheless, the Red Devils have been linked with a host of goalkeepers in the event that De Gea does leave, namely Jan Oblak, Jordan Pickford, YannSommer and Diogo Costa.
Crystal Palace’s Jack Butland is also understood to be of interest to Man United, who have been left with Tom Heaton as their senior backup following Dubravka’s return to Newcastle.
However, speaking to Sky Sports News, De Gea – who turns 33 in November – expressed his desire to continue in goal for the Red Devils until he ends his playing career.
When asked about the contract talks rumbling on in the background, De Gea responded: “I’m very relaxed. I just focus on training, perform as best as I can. But, for sure, it’s going to end in a good way.
“I hope (to stay for the rest of my career). I was saying this is my club, I’ve been here many, many years and it’s a huge honour to be here and I’m so happy here.”
Rather than trigger a one-year extension until 2024, as they have done for DiogoDalot, Marcus Rashford, Fred and Luke Shaw, Man United are understood to be discussing a more long-term agreement with De Gea.
Since arriving from Atletico Madrid for a €25m (£22m) fee in the summer of 2011, De Ge has managed 177 clean sheets in 510 appearances for Man United across all tournaments.
The 32-year-old boasts 12 shut-outs from 23 games in the 2022-23 season, posting his most recent one in Tuesday’s 3-0 Premier League victory over Bournemouth at Old Trafford.
De Gea has won the Premier League, Europa League, FA Cup, EFL Cup and three Community Shields at the Theatre of Dreams, although he is now approaching his sixth year without a piece of club silverware.
Man United moved level on points with third-placed Newcastle United courtesy of their three-goal win over Bournemouth, and the fourth-placed Red Devils sit two points clear of Tottenham Hotspur with a game in hand.
Ten Hag’s side next begin their quest for FA Cup glory when they tackle Everton at Old Trafford this evening. – Reuters