David De Gea has told reporters he would like to captain Manchester United next season amid reports he's ready to put pen to paper on a long-term contract with the Red Devils.
Per Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News, the Spain international also looked ahead at the upcoming season, saying the team needs to improve:
"I've been captain for some games. 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.
"It's my ninth season, I feel like one of the most experienced players. 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."
Per the report, De Gea will sign a new contract worth £117 million when the team returns from pre-season action in China.
Once he has done so, he could be one of the favourites for the captain's armband. According to Luckhurst, he has sporadically worn it since April 2018, when he put it on for the first time during a clash with Bournemouth.
Per the Telegraph's James Ducker, the new deal will be a six-year contract, ensuring the 28-year-old doesn't start the new season with just one year left to run.
Not everyone is a fan of the contract, however. Sports writer Andrew Gaffney noted he wanted to leave the club in the past and is coming off arguably his worst season since moving to England in 2011:
De Gea had a poor 2018 FIFA World Cup with Spain, conceding a poor goal against Portugal. Per TalkSport's Joe Coleman, he saved just one of the seven shots he faced in the tournament.
That poor form followed him to Manchester. He saw an increase in his errors, and conceded 54 goals in the Premier League. Only one other club that finished inside the top six conceded more than 39, with Arsenal letting in 51.
De Gea has looked sharp in pre-season so far:
As a four-time winner of the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award, voted for by the fans, he has the accolades to be a worthy captain. He's also already among the longest-tenured players at Old Trafford, arriving in Manchester in 2011.
Antonio Valencia, who arrived in 2009, was last year's captain, but he left the club on a free transfer in the summer.