De Gea signs 4-year deal with Manchester United

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MANCHESTER, England (AP) — David De Gea signed a four-year contract with Manchester United on Friday, making a fresh commitment to the Premier League club less than two weeks after a transfer to Real Madrid fell through.

The contract, which will tie the 24-year-old Spain international to Old Trafford until 2019, marks the latest twist in a saga that dominated the offseason transfer market.

De Gea has made 175 appearances for United since joining in 2011, but he has long been a target for Madrid. The two teams made a deal for a transfer but the paperwork was not completed in time for the deadline on Aug. 31.

United and Madrid later blamed each other for the debacle, which left De Gea able to leave United as a free agent at the end of this season.

"I am delighted to be starting this new chapter in my United career," De Gea said in a statement on the club's website. "I'm looking forward to putting a difficult summer behind me and concentrating on working hard to improve and help my teammates to be successful."

United manager Louis van Gaal described De Gea as "one of the best goalkeepers in the world" and highlighted his popularity with the fans.

"David made a very important contribution to our performance last season and he has been the club's Player of the Year for the last two seasons," the Dutchman said.

De Gea is now expected to make his season debut for United in Saturday's home game against Liverpool.

Van Gaal had been keeping the Spaniard out of the team amid all the transfer speculation, with Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero taking over between the posts.

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