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Official: Manchester United re-sign former goalkeeper

Tom Heaton, Manchester United
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11 years since his initial departure from Manchester United, Tom Heaton has returned to Old Trafford on a free transfer.

Manchester United have announced the return of Tom Heaton on a free transfer from Premier League side Aston Villa.

The 35-year-old goalkeeper has put pen-to-paper on a two-season contract until 2023 with his boyhood club, with whom he represented for 13 years at youth level until his departure in 2010, and has the option for another year.

In his time away from Old Trafford, Heaton played for four different clubs – Cardiff, Bristol City, Burnley, and Villa – and brings with him a wealth of Premier League experience, having made 116 appearances in the English top-flight.

“For me to have the opportunity to come back after spending 13 great years here as a kid, it’s an incredible feeling and I’m really, really excited to get started,” Heaton told the club’s website.

“I’m just seeing it as a fantastic opportunity as I still feel I’ve got an awful lot to give and I’ve got the bit between my teeth.

“I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running. I feel in great shape and I’m looking forward to coming in to compete with the other goalkeepers.”

Heaton will probably be the third-choice goalkeeper at United for next season behind David de Gea and Dean Henderson.

The three-time England international hasn’t played a competitive match since sustaining a knee ligament injury in January 2020.

His return comes a day after United confirmed they had struck a deal with Borussia Dortmund in principle to sign Jadon Sancho.