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Friday, December 21, 2007

Edwin agrees new deal

Edwin van der Sar has agreed terms for a year's contract extension which will keep at the club until the summer of 2009.

The 37-year-old goalkeeper has excelled in his position as United's top stopper since joining in June 2005. And Sir Alex is delighted to have secured van der Sar's services for a further 12 months.

"Edwin has agreed a new contract for another year," Sir Alex revealed on Friday. "It'll be totally as a player [rather than as a coach]. We're delighted at that because his consistency and experience has been a great help to this club.

"There is great competition for places amongst our goalkeepers. I'm sure Edwin will want to stay as our number one, but Ben Foster and Tomasz Kuszczak will give him a good challenge."

There had been suggestions in the media that van der Sar could take over as goalkeeping coach following Tony Coton's knee operation. But Sir Alex confirmed that Coton will be staying on at Old Trafford, contrary to those reports.

"Tony hasn't left," he declared. "He had a bad knee injury as a player and has recently had another big operation.

"We've told him to just wait and see how he is when he's fully recovered. It's far too early to be making decisions about his situation, because you can make good recoveries from operations like this. The important thing for Tony to know is that he'll have a place at the club whatever happens." Read more...

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Manucho Gonçalves

Full name: Manuel Alberto Contreiras Gonçalves
Date of birth: March 7, 1984
Place of birth: Luanda, Angola
Height: 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position: Striker
Previous Club: Petro Atletico
National Team: Angola

History: As a youngster Manucho started his football at a small football club and one of the only football academies in Angola, situated in a rural area of the city of Luanda called Terra Nova (nicknamed Terrex) where he also lived. This club was called Flamenguinhos, and with close supervision of his father and mentor Coach Alberto Gonçalves and Coach Nelo, Manucho rose to become a formidable left side winger and one of the stars of club.

Early Career: Manucho's recent professioal career started in Benfica de Luanda, a midtable club of the Angolan Girabola league. He then moved to Luanda based side Petro Atlético were he initially struggled to find a place due to the presence of striker Flávio Amado. After Flávio joined Egyptian outfit Al Ahly Manucho established himself in the side becoming the top scorer of Girabola for the past two years with 16 and 15 goals in 2006 and 2007 respectively. Read more...

Manchester United Signed First Angolan Player

United has reached agreement with Petro Athletico of Luanda to sign Mateus Alberto Contreiras Goncalves – "Manucho."The 24-year-old Angolan international striker, who has scored twice in 10 appearances for his country, has agreed personal terms and will join the Club in January on a 3-year agreement. An application for a work permit will be made in due course.He was top goalscorer in the last two seasons of the GiraBola, finishing with 16 goals for Petro Luanda in 2006 and 15 goals this year. Manucho will be part of the Angolan squad for the African Nations Cup in January.Sir Alex Ferguson is delighted by the new arrival, saying: “We have had Manucho here for a 3-week trial and have been impressed enough to offer him a 3-year contract."He is a tall, agile and quick forward and through contacts that Carlos [Queiroz] has was brought to our attention around six months ago.” Read more...

Anderson is one of best

Cristiano Ronaldo has given team-mate Anderson the perfect Christmas gift — by comparing him to Manchester United greats Paul Scholes and Roy Keane. The 19-year-old Brazilian, who joined United from Porto in the summer, was expected to be eased in to English football this season. But he has become a regular in Sir Alex Ferguson's side with Scholes ruled out through injury. And Ronaldo has been impressed by the maturity of the youngster's performances. The Portuguese winger said: "Anderson is a fantastic player and it's no surprise to anyone at United that he is playing so well. He is young but he has done a great job since he came to us. Anderson is a different player to Scholes and Keane but he has similar qualities to them. Every player has his own style, his own mentality and Anderson is showing people what great qualities he has."Staff reporter, The Sun Read more...

Fans can help Reds beat Lyon

Sir Alex Ferguson believes United have a good chance of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals, despite being drawn against the toughest of five possible opponents.Previewing the February and March meetings with Lyon, the Reds' manager said: "It's maybe the hardest of the five (draws) we could have got. Lyon have won their league for the last six seasons in a row, that's an incredible record. "They've lost some players over the last few years but they're always capable of producing new ones. We just hope we've got our full squad available at that stage of the season.
"It's not an easy tie but we have a good chance. It's important to come back from France with a good result. Then our fans, with Old Trafford at its loudest, can help us go through." Read more...

Champion Drawings

United have been drawn against French champions Olympique Lyonnais in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League.

It was arguably the toughest of five possible pairings for the Reds, given Lyon's domestic record of six league titles in a row. But United have beaten them before, 2-0 at Old Trafford in 2004, following a 2-2 draw in the first group meeting in France.

United will be away for the first leg on Wednesday 20 February 2008, while the return leg will be played at Old Trafford on Tuesday 4 March.

Full last 16 draw:

Celtic v Barcelona
Lyon v United
Schalke v FC Porto
Liverpool v Internazionale
AS Roma v Real Madrid
Arsenal v AC Milan
Olympiakos v Chelsea
Fenerbahce v Sevilla

United New Signing

United are set to sign their first-ever Angolan player, Manucho Goncalves, following his successful trial with the club.Sir Alex Ferguson revealed the news at his regular pre-match press conference, telling and other news agencies that the 24 year-old will join the Reds after playing for hs country at the African Nations Cup in January. Read more...