• Jonathan David signs with Lille for a $35 million transfer fee 
  • David had gained interest from Manchester United and several other Premier League clubs before his move to the Ligue 1 side
  • David's transfer breaks Lille's previous record set by last summer's $30 million deal to acquire Renato Sanches from Bayern

Gent forward Jonathan David has snubbed Manchester United as he opted to sign with Lille. The 20-year-old rising star is reported to have inked a deal with the French club for a record $35 million transfer fee to the Belgian side, making him the most expensive Canadian footballer ever.

David’s move to the Ligue 1 squad could have also punctuated the reported interest from several other Premier League clubs like Arsenal, Leicester City, Leeds, Brighton, and Crystal Palace, according to the Goal.

But there appear to be no regrets from the Brooklyn, New York-born youngster, who sounded ecstatic with his decision to seal a five-year deal with the French giants.

"I’m really happy. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this day and it’s a pleasure to be a Dogue," said David. "I know the project that has been put in place here by the president, Luis Campos, and [head coach] Christophe Galtier.

"This is a very good team with great players. I want to play and to progress and I think that this is the perfect place. I’m a player who knows his place on the pitch. I love to play to my qualities, notably with speed and technique. I’m also eager to see our fans! Let’s go LOSC!"

David has gained the attention of the aforementioned English clubs ever since he took his talents to Europe in 2018. In his first two seasons with Gent, David has instantly served noticed in the region.

In his latest run with the Belgian club, David took his game a notch higher as he racked up 23 league goals, on top of eight assists across 40 matches this year. This came after he introduced himself by scoring 14 goals and serving five assists in his debut season with the Buffalos, serving an indication that his full potential is yet to come.

David’s addition is seen as a wise move for Lille as the club adjusts with playing less Victor Osimhen, who left the French side to join Napoli last month.

"He is a player with not only great physical and technical abilities, but also mental qualities which make him particularly alert, agile and decisive," Lille CEO Marc Ingla said of David.

"Jonathan is a very intelligent boy who I am sure will fit in with the LOSC style of play and the French championship."

David’s transfer breaks the club record previously set by the $30 million deal to acquire Renato Sanches from Bayern Munich last summer. But despite the risk, the move is deemed as a huge step of progress for the Les Dogues, who sees a lot of promise on the Canadian prodigy.

Jonathan David of KAA Gent
Jonathan David of KAA Gent Getty Images | TF-Images