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Page last updated at 15:19 GMT, Tuesday, 27 May 2008 16:19 UK

Barcelona complete Pique signing

Gerard Pique
Gerard Pique's United contract expired next summer

Barcelona have re-signed Manchester United defender Gerard Pique on a four-year deal for a fee of around 5m, four years after he left the Nou Camp.

The 21-year-old joined United in 2004, but was never a first-team regular.

He made 23 appearances in his time at Old Trafford, scoring two goals, both in this season's Champions League campaign, against Dynamo Kiev and Roma.

"It's a dream to return to Barcelona. When I left I thought it would be very complicated to return," said Pique.

Pique initially signed a five-year deal at Old Trafford, which was due to expire next summer.

Although he was a highly-rated prospect, he was unable to break up the established central defensive partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

606: DEBATE
mrcrustacean

The Spaniard told Barcelona's website: "As a player you grow a lot, in a personal and football sense.

"In the latter aspect you learn a lot from being surrounded by top level players.

"With Manchester we won the Champions League and that was an unforgettable experience, and an experience I hope I can repeat in a Barca shirt."

Barcelona are set for a major reshuffle this summer, with president Joan Laporta keen for the club to improve on this season's third place finish in La Liga.

Coach Frank Rijkaard has been replaced by former club captain Pep Guardiola, and Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho and striker Samuel Eto'o could follow Rijkaard out of the club.


see also
Eto'o set for Barcelona exit
19 May 08 |  African
Barca anger over Pique exit
02 Jul 04 |  Man Utd
Man Utd sign Barca defender
01 Jul 04 |  Man Utd


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