Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keen Carrick to Don Number 16

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keen Carrick to Don Number 16

Article excerpt

Michael Carrick signed for Manchester United yesterday evening after the last details of his pounds 18.6m move from Tottenham were finalised.

United officials confirmed the deal had been done, with Carrick coming through a medical and agreeing personal terms.

The 25-year-old has become Sir Alex Ferguson's first summer signing and while the initial fee is believed to be about pounds 13m, Carrick could end up becoming the fifth most expensive player in Red Devils history.

Carrick has been assigned the number 16 shirt ( which has been vacant since the abrupt departure of Roy Keane last November ( and will be introduced at a Press conference tomorrow. (corr)

Ferguson said: "Michael has settled down fine. I spoke to him today. I said to him, 'I'm giving you the number 16 jersey', so he was delighted at that.

"I think that showed great courage because sometimes players are a bit superstitious about things like that but he was keen, and said he would gladly take number 16."

Although Ferguson has yet to say when he expects Carrick to make his debut, it is likely to be in this weekend's four-team tournament in Amsterdam.

After spending most of the summer searching for midfield reinforcements, Ferguson will be delighted to have finally captured his number one target.

The United boss will hope Carrick's passing ability can offer an extra dimension to his midfield, which saw an unlikely combination of John O'Shea and Ryan Giggs deployed at its heart during the latter stages of last season after Keane's departure.

Ferguson will also look to Carrick's arrival to bring some stability to the club after a turbulent summer which saw Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo at loggerheads in the World Cup.

Ronaldo returned to training yesterday afternoon after his extended break, but with Rooney only required for a morning session, the pair did not appear on United's Carrington training ground at the same time. …

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