Manch­ester United agree deal for De Gea to mind the posts

Shanghai Daily - - SPORTS -

MANCH­ESTER United has agreed to sign Spain un­der-21 goal­keeper David De Gea from Atletico Madrid on a five-year con­tract, the Premier League cham­pion said yes­ter­day.

United, seek­ing to re­place re­tired keeper Ed­win Van der Sar, did not pro­vide de­tails of the trans­fer fee but lo­cal me­dia has es­ti­mated it to be around 18 mil­lion pounds (US$ 29 mil­lion).

The club said the 20-year- old had passed a med­i­cal this week.

“I feel very proud and I can’t wait to start play­ing here,” De Gea said on the club web­site. “When a club the size of Manch­ester United comes in for you it ob­vi­ously makes you very, very happy.

“I saw their in­ter­est as an ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion to work even harder to show off my abil­ity.”

De Gea, who came through the youth ranks at Atletico be­fore mak­ing his La Liga de­but in 2009, ar­rives at Old Traf­ford fresh from help­ing Spain to win the Euro­pean Un­der-21 cham­pi­onship in Den­mark last week.

He will be United’s third sign­ing since the end of the sea­son as the cham­pion has led the way in spend­ing, hav­ing brought in de­fender Phil Jones and for­ward Ash­ley Young in a close sea­son spree re­ported to be close to 50 mil­lion pounds.

United man­ager Alex Fer­gu­son, who has spo­ken pre­vi­ously of the de­sire to sign an ad­e­quate re­place­ment for Van der Sar in good time, tar­geted one of the con­ti­nent’s best young goal­keep­ing tal­ents in De Gea.

When Dan­ish goal­keeper Peter Sch­me­ichel quit Old Traf­ford in 1999 the club strug­gled for six years to sign some­one of a sim­i­lar cal­i­bre, even­tu­ally set­tling on Van der Sar hav­ing passed up the chance to snap him up from Ajax years ear­lier.

Know­ing the Dutch­man planned to re­tire at the end of last sea­son, when United won a record 19th English league ti­tle, Fer­gu­son learnt from past mis­takes and had al­ready be­gun pre­par­ing for his top keeper’s de­par­ture.

He signed 27-year-old Dane An­ders Lin­de­gaard last Novem­ber and De Gea will now com­pete with him and Van der Sar’s pre­vi­ous deputy To­masz Kuszs­cak for the No. 1 one spot be­tween the posts.

“It’s a great priv­i­lege to be part of a club like United and I’m keen to do my best and show what I can do,” De Gea added.

Manch­ester United de­fender Pa­trice Evra poses dur­ing a pro­mo­tional event in Shang­hai yes­ter­day. — Dong Jun

David De Gea

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