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Tuesday, May 4, 1999 Published at 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK

Fergie signs new deal

Alex Ferguson: "I am delighted the matter has been settled"

Manchester United have been given the perfect boost ahead of the European Cup final, after manager Alex Ferguson agreed a new three-year contract.

Ferguson finally ended the speculation about his future by signing a deal that will keep him at the club until June 2002.

The 57-year-old Scot has been at Old Trafford since 1986 and has been the most successful English manager of the last decade, leading the club to a string of honours.

The Champions League is the only major honour to have eluded Ferguson and there had been speculation that if United won the final later this month, he might decide to call it a day.

However, after weeks of negotiation he has confirmed a contract that it is believed will make him the best paid manager in the country.

'Hunger undiminished'

"I am delighted that the matter has been settled and that I have a contract that will take me to 60 years of age," Ferguson said in a statement issued by the club's board.

"My hunger for success remains undiminished and I will be striving to ensure that the next three years are as successful as the last 13 have been."

United's chief executive Martin Edwards described the announcement as "fantastic news" for the club and all its supporters.

"At the end of the contract Alex will have been manager for almost 16 years, a remarkable achievement in the modern game of football," Edwards said.

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