Errors in games against Sevilla in the Europa League, West Ham in the Premier League and Manchester City in the FA Cup final were the decisive factors in finally getting David de Gea out of Manchester United, according to a new report.
Over the weekend, the Red Devils confirmed that the Spaniard had officially left the club after 12 years of service.
De Gea was technically out of contract at the end of last month but talks were still scheduled to resolve his future. While the club pursued a transfer for Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana, it was not definitively ruled out that the 32-year-old could still be retained at Old Trafford.
This came after United performed a stunning turnaround during negotiations. The Peoples Person covered a report which stated that De Gea had been offered a new deal with significantly reduced terms on his £375k-a-week wage package.
He had signed it only for United to tear up what was offered and present him with even lower salary figures.
According to The Athletic’s Adam Crafton, Erik ten Hag was crucial in De Gea ultimately leaving the Theatre of Dreams.
Crafton suggests that the Dutchman had a change of heart about the shot-stopper’s suitability for his brand of football, which requires play to be initiated from the back and a goalkeeper to be good with their feet.
“As the season ended, glaring errors returned to De Gea’s play, first against Sevilla when United crashed out of the Europa League, then against West Ham United when United’s top four chances appeared briefly at risk, then in the FA Cup final against Manchester City, when Ilkay Gundogan’s second goal crawled into the net,” Crafton notes.
“Before that sequence of form, both United and Ten Hag had been minded to muddle through at least one more campaign with De Gea in goal.”
It was thought that there were more urgent areas of the pitch that needed immediate addressing. This was occasioned by United’s tight transfer budget and the ongoing takeover saga.
However, De Gea’s mistake-strewn ways soon made it glaringly obvious that an upgrade between the sticks could simply not wait.
The Athletic also notes the messy nature in which the player’s contractual situation was handled, saying “[There were] several months of negotiations between the two parties but sources close to United, who wished not to be named when relaying private contractual conversations, insist that despite extensive discussions, no contract was ever formally offered to De Gea.”
As it stands, the 20-time English champions are pushing through with their chase for Onana and all signs point to this getting over the line.
De Gea is still yet to find a new club but someone of his standing and reputation will not be short of offers. Already, Saudi Arabia were said to be interested in him.