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Man United scout Eric Harrison
"He's big, he's strong, he's quick, he's a top class player"
 real 14k

Manchester football journalist David Meek
"I think we can assume that somebody wil be going"
 real 14k

Dutch journalist Juri van den Busken
"Everybody feels OK with it because PSV will get a lot of money."
 real 14k

BBC Sport's Dave Oates
"He's been likened to the legendary Marco van Basten."
 real 14k

Ruud van Nistelrooy
"The deal is done and I'll play next season for Manchester United."
 real 56k

PSV spokesperson Pedro Salazar-Hewitt
"United will get a big player, he can play in any competition and score goals"
 real 14k

Monday, 23 April, 2001, 14:53 GMT 15:53 UK
Man Utd clinch Van Nistelrooy deal
Van Nistelrooy in PSV's 3-1 win over RKC Waalwijk
PSV have lost their prized asset
Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has finally completed his move to Manchester United for a British record transfer fee of 19m.

The PSV star passed a medical at the weekend and has put pen to paper on a five-year deal at Old Trafford.

The deal comes almost exactly a year after United's inital move for Van Nistelrooy collapsed because of his failed medical.

A serious cruciate ligament injury then kept him out of action for nine months, but the Premiership champions are thrilled to have finally got their man.

It has always been a dream of mine to play for United at Old Trafford
  Ruud van Nistelrooy

United's desire to land the gifted Dutchman means they were prepared to pay the record fee - despite the uncertainty still hanging over the transfer system.

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: "I am delighted that we have signed Ruud, a player we have admired for some time.

"This deal underlines our determination to improve the squad at United."

Van Nistelrooy, who will join United on 1 July, added on the club's official website: "In spite of what has happened in the past year, my feelings for the club have never diminished.

"It has always been a dream of mine to play for United at Old Trafford.

Ruud thanks PSV

"So this move has been a very easy choice for me to make and I look forward to playing for the club next season.

"I'd like to thank everyone at PSV Eindhoven for being so supportive during my time at the club, particularly in the last year."

PSV spokesman Pedro Salazar-Hewitt agreed United had signed a class striker.

"United will get a big player, he can play in any competition and score goals," he said.

Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
Will Ruud put a smile on Fergie's face next season?

"He has come back very, very fit and motivated and I'm sure he will be one of the biggest players in the premier league.

"He has the mentality and the ambition to become one of the biggest players in the world.

"It has been a very tough year for him but everything is going well now. He's a great player and very nice guy.

"The PSV supporters will be sorry to see him go but will give him a big send-off."

United's Champions League ambitions have been undermined by a failure to score goals, and Ferguson has always been convinced Van Nistelrooy was the man to solve his problems.

He kept constant tabs on the player throughout his long recovery from injury, even offering him the use of the club's training facilities if he wanted a change of environment.

And Ferguson had no hesitation in reviving the deal once Van Nistelrooy had proved his fitness with a return to goal-scoring form at PSV.

Van Nistelrooy's return has been so impressive that he has already been recalled to the Holland squad.

The signing will put immediate question marks over the rest of the United strike force, with Dwight Yorke appearing the most vulnerable after a disappointing season.

Van Nistelrooy, who is back in Holland for their friendly against Cyprus on Wednesday, has already been installed at 8-1 to finish top scorer in the Premiership next season.

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31 Jan 01 |  Europe
PSV resigned to losing Ruud
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