David de Gea's potential destinations after Man Utd exit

  • David de Gea confirmed his departure from Man Utd after 12 years at Old Trafford
  • At only 32, De Gea is still in the prime age bracket for a goalkeeper
  • The former Spain international has been linked with several Premier League clubs, a move back to La Liga or further afield
David de Gea is on his way out of Manchester United but retirement doesn't appear to be on the cards
David de Gea is on his way out of Manchester United but retirement doesn't appear to be on the cards / Visionhaus/GettyImages

The last time David de Gea lined up for a club side that wasn't Manchester United, Sergio Aguero scored a hat-trick.

The pair were at Atletico Madrid together in the distant days of 2011. However, unlike his former colleague - who was forced into premature retirement due to a heart condition - De Gea is set to carry on playing after announcing his departure from Manchester United at the start of July.

"Now, it’s the right time to undertake a new challenge," De Gea wrote in his farewell message, "to push myself again in new surroundings."

Here's a look at where the hunt for new challenges and surroundings may take De Gea.

David de Gea potential destinations after Man Utd exit

7. Inter

David de Gea, Diego Milito
A young David de Gea played against Inter for Atletico Madrid in the 2011 UEFA Super Cup / Michael Steele/GettyImages

Andre Onana has been United's chief target as De Gea's replacement throughout the summer. In the wake of the Spaniard's announcement, United are expected to lodge a third bid which comes closer to Inter's £51m valuation of Onana.

Last season's defeated Champions League finalists could snag Onana's replacement as part of the negotiations. If Inter are willing to consider former Tottenham captain Hugo Lloris, why not take a look at De Gea?

6. Tottenham

Son Heung-Min, David De Gea
David de Gea has won half of his 22 games against Tottenham / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

After finally ridding themselves of one ageing and increasingly erratic shot-stopper, Tottenham have been linked with signing another.

De Gea is four years younger than Lloris and not quite as flawed but would still serve as an experienced option for the incoming Guglielmo Vicario to bounce off.

5. Real Madrid

David de Gea
David de Gea was born in Madrid and spent eight years at Real's rivals Atletico / Matthew Ashton - AMA/GettyImages

Had it not been for football's unfathomable reliance upon the fax machine, De Gea could have been a Real Madrid player in 2015. The move never materialised but the Madrid-born keeper could return to his roots on a free transfer this summer.

It's highly unlikely that Thibaut Courtois would entertain any competition for his berth as the club's undisputed number one, but De Gea would offer more solidity than the current backup option Andriy Lunin.

4. Atlanta United

DC United v Colorado Rapids - MLS
MLS has seen an influx of European stars this summer / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

The Italian icon Gianni Rivera once disparagingly referred to the American top flight as "an elephant graveyard". The division has done its best to rebrand itself as a hotbed of young talent but this summer has seen another influx of ageing stars flood the league.

Inter Miami, with the headline-grabbing acquisitions of Lionel Messi and friends, are the chief culprits and may not have room for De Gea on their roster. However, MLS rivals Atlanta United may be tempted to procure the services of a Premier League champion without having to pay a transfer fee.

Brad Guzan spent six years in England's top flight but has begun to show the effects of dulled reflexes of a shot-stopper that turns 39 in September. Guzan's backup Quentin Westberg is 37 himself, perhaps offering De Gea an avenue into MLS.

3. Chelsea

Callum Hudson-Odoi, David De Gea
David de Gea has never faced another club more often than Chelsea (28) / Shaun Botterill/GettyImages

Chelsea have been burned in the recent past after acquiring a Spanish goalkeeper. However, while Kepa Arrizabalaga commanded a world-record fee, De Gea would be available for free.

At 32, De Gea should theoretically be at his peak as a goalkeeper. Chelsea were able to cajole a fee of £17m from Al Ahli for Edouard Mendy (who is 31) in June, opening up a slot in their goalkeeping reserves which De Gea has been linked with filling.

2. Newcastle

David De Gea, Joelinton
David de Gea has earned 37 points from 19 Premier League games against Newcastle / Stu Forster/GettyImages

When De Gea lined up against Newcastle at Wembley in February, not only did he steer the Red Devils to victory in the League Cup final but he kept a record-breaking 180th clean sheet in the process - no other player has ever racked up more in United's long history.

Newcastle had to draft in the former Liverpool keeper Lorius Karius for the showpiece as injury and suspension conspired against the Magpies, hinting at a lack of depth behind the number one, Nick Pope.

If De Gea did move to Tyneside - as is rumoured - his shaky distribution would not be a deal-breaker given the style of play Eddie Howe is fostering.

1. Saudi Arabia

For any player in search of a pay packet that European clubs are unwilling to cough up, the Saudi Pro League has emerged as an accommodating alternative.

Al Hilal used four different goalkeepers last season, with 36-year-old Abdullah Al-Mayouf the most regular custodian. Ruben Neves and Kalidou Koulibaly have already joined the Saudi giants and De Gea could be next.

De Gea has even been linked with a reunion with Cristiano Ronaldo at Al Nassr, who could step up their pursuit of the stopper now he is on the hunt for work.


On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders and Rob Blanchette discuss why Manchester United want Andre Onana to be their new goalkeeper. If you can't see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast in audio format!

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