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De Gea cites Ferguson after confirming Man Utd career is over; World class replacement ‘really close’ to joining

Man Utd goalkeeper David de Gea

David de Gea has confirmed his Man Utd career has ended via a heartfelt post on social media

David de Gea penned an emotional goodbye after confirming his career at Man Utd has ended, while Fabrizio Romano has provided a fresh update on Erik ten Hag’s would-be replacement – Andre Onana.

De Gea’s contract with United expired at midnight on June 30. As such, the veteran Spaniard, 32, officially became a free agent.

The Independent were among those to report talks with United and Ten Hag over forging a free agreement would take place in the days following his contract lapsing. However, if those discussions were held, they did not result in a breakthrough.

Indeed, taking to social media, De Gea delivered a heartfelt message confirming his glittering 12-year stint at Old Trafford has concluded.

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

“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, to lead the team, to represent this institution, the biggest club in the world was an honour only bestows 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.

“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 won Man Utd’s Player of the Year on four occasions and actually led the Premier League in the clean sheets category (17) last season.

However, doubts as to whether De Gea was the right profile of keeper for Ten Hag were raised almost as soon as the Dutchman arrived at Old Trafford.

Ten Hag favours a goalkeeper who is comfortable on the ball and will act as an extra outfield player when in possession.

Ten Hag also wants his stopper to adopt a higher starting position to allow his defensive line to push further up field and pressure opponents inside their own half.

De Gea’s limitations with the ball at feet have been there for all to see. Unfortunately for the Spaniard, they appear to have cost him his Man Utd career in the end.

De Gea out, Onana in

With De Gea now a free agent and a return to United out of the question, he’s free to explore his next move.

Conversely, Man Utd will quickly ramp up signing a replacement and the player they’ve landed on is Inter Milan’s Andre Onana.

The 27-year-old is known to Ten Hag through their time together at Ajax between 2017-22. Onana kept more clean sheets than any other keeper in the Champions League last season (eight), though it’s his ball-playing ability and distribution that makes him the perfect fit.

United have already seen two bids for Onana rejected, with the last totalling €50m. Inter are believed to be demanding €60m, though according to Fabrizio Romano, an agreement will soon be struck, potentially in the middle at €55m.

The transfer guru tweeted De Gea’s confirmed farewell has set the stage for Man Utd to lodge their third and decisive bid for Onana.

Personal terms are already agreed and a compromise over the fee between United and Inter was described as “really close.”

Romano concluded all parties – Inter, United and Onana – “expect [a] deal to be 100 percent done next week.”

A subsequent update saw Romano claim Inter will accept Man Utd’s third bid when it arrives. The move could be signed, sealed and delivered towards the back end of next week.

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