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United net Valencia

Manchester United said on Tuesday they have signed Wigan winger Antonio Valencia on a four-year contract for a fee believed to be in the region of 16 million pounds (22 million dollars).

“Joining Manchester United is a dream come true for me,” the 23-year-old Ecuadoran told the club website www.manutd.com.

“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,” he added.

“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.”

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has been a fan of Valencia, who spent two seasons with Wigan and helped turn the club into an established top flight side.

“Antonio is a player we have admired for some time now, having spent the last two years in the Premier League with Wigan,” Ferguson said.

“I am sure his pace and ability will make a significant contribution to the team.”

Valencia should fill the gap left by Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo, who signed for Real Madrid for 80million pounds earlier this month.

Tue 30 June, 2009
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