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Wednesday, 5 July, 2000, 17:24 GMT
Higginbotham moves to Derby for 2m
Higginbotham
Higginbotham challenges Benito Carbone
Derby have completed the signing of Manchester United left-back Danny Higginbotham for 2m.

The 21-year-old has arrived at Pride Park on a four-year deal and will replace former England defender Tony Dorigo, who left at the end of last season.

Manager Jim Smith has been searching for Dorigo's replacement all summer and tried to bring Norwegian left-back Andre Bergdolmo to England, only for Dutch giants Ajax to win the race.

But Smith will be delighted to have persuaded Higginbotham to move from Old Trafford, where he was regarded as the natural successor to the experienced Denis Irwin.

Higginbotham, who made six appearances for United last season, was due to make his Derby bow at a press conference on Thursday where Derby would also unveil Finnish international midfielder Simo Valakari, who has joined on a free transfer from Motherwell.

Higginbotham, 21, hit the headlines in 1999 when he was banned for a year by the Belgian FA for allegedly attacking a referee, while on loan at Royal Antwerp the previous season.

The suspension was subsequently reduced to four months on appeal.

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