David de Gea says goodbye! Goalkeeper confirms end to 12-year Manchester United stay in emotional message to fans

De Gea, en un partido con el UnitedGettyimages
  • Club and keeper announce parting
  • De Gea says time for 'new challenge'
  • Club laud 'one of the greatest goalkeepers in club history'

WHAT HAPPENED? De Gea and United confirmed their expected parting of ways on Saturday afternoon with the player and club posting messages of mutual appreciation. The Spaniard leaves Old Trafford after 12 years, over 500 games and voted as the club's player of the year four times.

WHAT THEY SAID: The Spaniard posted on Instagram: "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 every time I pulled on this shirt.

"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. 🤘🏼❤️"

AND WHAT'S MORE: Shortly after, United's official site paid tribute to "one of the greatest goalkeepers in the history of the club."

Manager Erik ten Hag added: "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 team-mates, 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 BIGGER PICTURE: A parting of the ways seemed inevitable after De Gea's contract expired with little prospect of a renewal. United appeared unwilling to offer anything in the region of the goalkeeper's previous contract meaning both parties felt it was time to move on.


WHAT NEXT FOR MANCHESTER UNITED? After paying homage to their number one of the last 12 years, United will now turn their attention to securing the signature of chosen successor Andre Onana.