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Man Utd chief executive Peter Kenyon
"Laurent is a world class player"
 real 14k

Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"These days players can extend their careers"
 real 56k

Thursday, 30 August, 2001, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
Man Utd seal Blanc deal
Laurent Blanc
Blanc will link up with compatriot Fabien Barthez
Laurent Blanc has joined Manchester United on a lucrative one-year deal estimated to be worth 2.5m.

The former French international passed his medical and was unveiled at a media conference at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Blanc has been lined up as a replacement for Jaap Stam, who joined Lazio for 16.5m on Monday.

We've followed Laurent around the world but now we've got him
Sir Alex Ferguson

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson opted not to attend a G14 managerial conference in Geneva in order to sign the veteran French defender.

And a delighted Ferguson said: "This is maybe the fourth time we have tried to get him.

"I have tried in the past to do it, even last season - but it has always been the wrong time.

"We've followed him around the world but now we are delighted he has joined us.

"Laurent's experience will be vital to the younger players like Mikael Silvestre, Wes Brown, Gary and Phil Neville."

Blanc played down reports that he had not wanted to sign for the Old Trafford club, saying that something had always got in the way before.

The Frenchman added: "I am honoured to play for such a big club like Manchester United.

"I never refused them. There was always something that prevented the transfer. That's all."

United were eager to complete the move before Friday's Champions League transfer deadline so that the 35-year-old would be eligible for their European campaign.

Blanc's addition to the United squad will come as a welcome boost for Ferguson.

PSV Eindhoven, Parma and Valencia have let the United boss know that they have no intention of selling Kevin Hofland, Fabio Cannavaro and Roberto Ayala respectively.

See also:

23 Aug 01 |  Football
Red faces at the back
28 Aug 01 |  Man Utd
Campo snubs Man Utd
30 Aug 01 |  Man Utd
Silvestre's future safe
30 Aug 01 |  West Ham Utd
Hammers close in on Repka
30 Aug 01 |  Man Utd
Europe sways Blanc
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