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Jun 29, 2011

De Gea proud of 'important' United move

Manchester United have signed David De Gea from Atletico Madrid for a fee in the region of £18 million, with the Spanish goalkeeper describing the move as an "important step" in his career.

• David de Gea profile
• De Gea reveals United heroes
• Live Transfer blog

De Gea, 20, has signed a five-year deal with the Premier League champions to become Edwin van der Sar's successor. He joins Phil Jones and Ashley Young in moving to Old Trafford to take Sir Alex Ferguson's spending to £50 million this month.

The move comes just four days after De Gea helped Spain's Under-21 side win the European Championship in Denmark and he admitted his delight at sealing the switch to Old Trafford.

"I feel very proud and I can't wait to start playing here," De Gea told MUTV. "When a club the size of Manchester United comes in for you it obviously makes you very, very happy.

"I saw their interest as an extra motivation to work even harder to show off my ability. It's a great privilege to be part of a club like United and I'm keen to do my best and show what I can do."

De Gea won the Europa League and the European Super Cup with Atletico, but he is yet to win a senior cap for Spain with the tough competition of Iker Casillas, Pepe Reina and Victor Valdes ahead of him in the pecking order.

However, the young 'keeper had been well-established as Atletico's No. 1 for some time, and insisted that he will always be grateful the role the Rojiblancos played in launching his career.

"Atletico Madrid made an offer to renew my contract in September or October and I said that I wouldn't study it until the Under-21 European Championships finished and do it with a little more calm,'' De Gea said. "In these cases it's important that your family advise you and they've done that.

"Atletico have always fought for me. I've always felt wanted, but the main reason for my going is that I want to play at Manchester (United). Manchester United are one of the best clubs in the world and it's an important step in my career. I'm going to do as well as possible there and try to succeed.''

De Gea, who has long been linked with a move to United, added: "There have been many rumours these last few months about if I had gone there or not, but the truth is that last week there was contact from Manchester United to Atletico Madrid saying that they would like me to visit their facilities and present an offer to me.

"I decided to go with my family and study the offer and see everything and that's when I decided. They have very good facilities. It's one of the best clubs in the world and I'm going there to continue growing as a player and as a person, and for that it's a perfect club.

"Atletico made an effort (to keep me), but my family and I have taken this decision. I want to thank everybody who has had faith in me and the fans who have always supported me since I was young. I will always carry Atleti in my heart.''

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