Manchester United have made their first signing since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo by landing the services of Wigan’s Antonio Valencia.
The 23 year old Ecuador international has signed a four year deal for an undisclosed fee, though reports suggest that United have paid around £16 million.
United' have maintained regular contact with their fellow Lancashire club for a couple of months over a possible deal and United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was delighted to get his man saying:
Antonio is a player we have admired for some time now, having spent the last two years in the Premier League with Wigan.
I am sure his pace and ability will make a significant contribution to the team.
Ferguson is also thought to be on the look out for other players including Sergio Aguero of Atletico Madrid as well Luis Fabiano, the Brazilian international currently with Sevilla, but their hopes of landing Franck Ribery and Karim Benzema appear to be receding, with the former increasingly likely only to leave Bayern Munich for Madrid and the latter intent on staying in France for another season.
As for Valencia, he was happy to have made the move to Old Trafford and said:
I have enjoyed my time at Wigan, but I am thrilled to have the chance to challenge for the biggest honours in club football here.
Playing in front of 76,000 fans alongside players like Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs will be an amazing experience. I can’t wait to get started.