David De Gea is set to become a free agent after his current Manchester United contract expires on Friday. The Spanish goalkeeper has spent a dozen seasons with the Red Devils since his move from Atletico Madrid in 2011. He was a mainstay in the team that collected five significant trophies during this timeframe.

A contract extension between the two sides had been thought to have been agreed in recent days. United asked De Gea to lower his weekly wages to remain with the team. The keeper was previously raking in about $475,000 per week in his current contract. Negotiations took place and both the club and player had reportedly agreed to a reduced multi-year extension.

United back out of previously agreed deal

Nevertheless, The Athletic then reported that United reneged on the agreement and backed away from the deal. Club officials have denied that the club officially signed the contract. The team’s decision, however, still raised eyebrows across the soccer world.

Manager Erik ten Hag’s late decision to pull the plug may be because of increasing interest in Inter Milan’s Andre Onana. Since backing out of the agreed deal with De Gea, United has reportedly held talks with Onana’s representatives. Transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano is claiming that the Red Devils remain in talks with the player, but have not yet submitted an official bid. Inter is expecting to receive a fee of over $55 million for their starting keeper.

Polarizing de Gea may still return as free agent

There is, however, still a possibility that De Gea re-signs with United. As a free agent, he can essentially sign a contract with any club he wants, United included. Nevertheless, after the club reneged on their side of the deal, it remains to be seen if the keeper would want to re-enter negotiations with the team.

De Gea has been a polarizing figure at the club in recent seasons. Despite collecting the Premier League Golden Glove trophy for the 2022/23 campaign, he makes odd mistakes as well. The Spanish keeper had two direct errors leading to goals in the last English top-flight season. Along with the errors, De Gea also ranked middle of the pack in save percentage and failed to make fairly easy saves in recent months.

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