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David de Gea: Manchester United goalkeeper becomes free agent

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea’s contract came to an end on Friday with no decision over whether he will remain at Old Trafford.

It is understood the framework of a contract extension that had been agreed was subsequently changed.

This has led to both sides stepping back to reflect on the situation and preferred direction.

De Gea is getting married this weekend and face-to-face talks will not resume until after this period is over.

The Spain goalkeeper, 32, has spent 12 years at the club, where he has played in 545 games.

United remain in contact with De Gea, whose response to the huge amount of speculation around his future was to post a yawning emoji on Twitter earlier this week.

Last season, the four-time United player of the year won the Premier League Golden Glove for the second time as he kept 17 clean sheets.

Both De Gea and manager Erik ten Hag spoke confidently at the end of last season about the player staying at the club.

He could still sign a contract but from Saturday, the Spaniard can sign for any other club, having been free to agree pre-contract terms with overseas suitors in January.

United have been wanting De Gea to take a substantial pay cut from the record £375,000-per-week deal he signed in 2019.

Even at a reduced level, De Gea’s contract would still put him in the top range of goalkeepers and it is difficult to see him matching those terms elsewhere.

However, if he does opt to leave the club after 12 seasons, during which time he has won five major honours, a record four club player-of-the-year awards and is the last remaining player to have won a Premier League title at United, it will create a problem for Ten Hag.

It is understood tentative discussions have taken place with Inter Milan’s highly-rated Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana. However, Ten Hag is operating on a limited budget and, after reaching an agreement to sign Mason Mount from Chelsea for £55m and with United also targeting a centre-forward, they would need to sell before making a move for 27-year-old Onana.

United have triggered a one-year option for veteran keeper Tom Heaton, who is attracting interest from Luton, while Dean Henderson has returned to the club to recover from the thigh injury he sustained during his loan spell with Nottingham Forest in January.

Source: BBC Sport

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