Tuesday 15 October 2019

De Gea wants captaincy as he pledges future

DEAL: David de Gea. Photo: Reuters
DEAL: David de Gea. Photo: Reuters

David De Gea would love to be named Manchester United captain as the goalkeeper prepares to extend his stay with the club.

It is understood the 28-year-old is preparing to sign a new and improved contract that is likely to tie him down to the Old Trafford giants until 2025.

The six-year contract is believed to be worth around £375,000 a week which he is due to sign when he returns from the club's pre-season tour of Australia and Asia.

United feared they might lose De Gea as a free agent next summer, but the decision to make him the club's highest-paid player after Alexis Sanchez, coupled with the support from Solskjaer and his staff, has persuaded the goalkeeper to stay.

De Gea's focus on the future has seen him throw his hat into the ring to become United captain, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer yet to hand out the armband since Antonio Valencia's summer exit.

Solskjaer will announce his decision before United's opening Premier League game of the season against Chelsea at Old Trafford on August 11.

"I've been captain for some games," De Gea said. "Of course, it is amazing to be captain of a club like Manchester United and defend this badge.

"It's amazing, so of course I'll be really, really happy to captain."

De Gea moved to Old Trafford from Atletico Madrid in 2011 and has established himself as one of the world's best keepers.

Named the club's player of the year on a record four occasions, De Gea wants to help the club challenge for trophies again.

"It's my ninth season, I feel like one of the most experienced players," he said. "I need to show that on the pitch and try to help the young guys know what Manchester United means and that's important.

"We have to improve a lot. We are Manchester United; we need to fight for trophies.

"When you put on this badge, that's what it means - fight for everything, give your best and bring the team again to the top."

Meanwhile, Nicky Butt who made 387 appearances for United, has been named as head of first-team development.

The 44-year-old was head of the United's academy but will now report to Solskjaer and will help "create a seamless journey for young players stepping up to the next level".

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