LONDON (Reuters) – Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea has signed a new four-year contract, the club said on Friday, a week after a proposed transfer to Real Madrid collapsed.

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The Spain international, 24, almost joined Madrid on transfer deadline day, but the deal fell through as the necessary paperwork was not filed in time and the clubs blamed each other for the bureaucratic failure.

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His previous deal was set to expire at the end of the season, and he had been widely expected to join Madrid on a free transfer next year.

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His decision to commit his future to United will give the club a timely boost ahead of Saturday’s clash at home to rivals Liverpool.

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“I am delighted to be starting this new chapter in my United career,” De Gea said in a statement on the club website (www.manutd.com).

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“I have always enjoyed playing with these great players in front of our fantastic fans. Manchester United is a special club and Old Trafford is an ideal place for me to continue to develop my career.

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“I’m looking forward to putting a difficult summer behind me and concentrating on working hard to improve and help my team mates to be successful.”

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De Gea was left out of United’s opening games of the season, with manager Louis van Gaal openly questioning whether the player could deal mentally with the ongoing speculation.

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Argentina international Sergio Romero was installed as first-choice keeper and kept three clean sheets in the league before being criticised following a 2-1 defeat by Swansea City.

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Van Gaal has yet to confirm whether De Gea will be brought back into the side for Saturday’s home clash with Liverpool.

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He was the man-of-the-match when the sides met last year, making a string of superb saves as United won 3-0, the first part of a league double over the Merseysiders.

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“I am absolutely delighted David has signed a new contract. He is one of the best goalkeepers in world football,” manager Louis van Gaal said.

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“I am very pleased that he will be part of the team for many years to come.”

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