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Monday, April 27, 1998 Published at 10:42 GMT 11:42 UK

Sport: Football

United get their man
image: [ Manchester United have finally got out their cheque book to the delight of fans ]
Manchester United have finally got out their cheque book to the delight of fans

Jaap Stam is poised to complete a £10m move to Manchester United.

United have agreed a new club record fee with PSV Eindhoven for the Dutch international centre-half. United spokesman, Ken Ramsden, has confirmed that Stam is due to fly to Manchester to discuss his contract demands.

"The player will be coming over, I'm not sure exactly when, but it will be in the next few days," he said.

"We will discuss personal terms and go through the various other matters which needed to be completed. All things being equal everything should be finalised soon."

Record fee

If the deal goes through, United will pay a world record fee for a defender. PSV had turned down two previous offers from the English champions for Stam, who they had originally valued at £15m.

United solicitor and director Maurice Watkins confirmed that they have reached agreement with the Dutch club.

"We've agreed terms with Eindhoven, but we've not finalised the paperwork, and so we've not signed him just yet," he said.

"The deal is very well advanced and now it's a case of documenting the discussions between the clubs and agreeing personal terms with the player."

News of the transfer ends weeks of negotiations between the clubs for Holland's Player of the Year.

Stam, 25, was so desperate to move to Old Trafford that he offered to waive his 15% cut of the transfer fee. It is understood that this has helped to clinch the deal.

PSV were reluctant to sell Stam, who was under contract until 2003, and were determined to receive as high a price as possible for him. But in the end, they settled for £5 million less than they had originally wanted.

Building for next season

United look likely to finish the season empty-handed and manager Alex Ferguson has stated his intention to start strengthening the team for the next campaign.

Ferguson sees Stam as key to his plans, but his arrival is sure to cast question marks over some of the centre-halves already at Old Trafford.

Gary Pallister has been linked with a move to his former club Middlesbrough, while Norwegian international Henning Berg has admitted he may be forced to leave.

Meanwhile, English newspapers are reporting that United striker Teddy Sheringham will leave for Middlesbrough next season.

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