Valencia signs new three-year deal with Manchester United

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New deal: Valencia has agreed a new three year contract with Man United.

Manchester United have announced that Antonio Valencia has signed a new three-year contract.

The new deal also has an option to extend which would tie the 28-year-old Ecuador winger, who is currently on World Cup duty with his country, to United until June 2018.

"My time at Manchester United has been like a dream come true. To be the first Ecuadorian player to win the English Premier League was a very proud moment for me and for my country," Valencia told the official Manchester United website. 

Valencia joined United from Wigan in 2009 and has made 191 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 21 goals. D

uring his time at the club, Valencia has helped United lift two Premier League titles and the League Cup, and he is hoping to pick up more silverware under incoming manager Louis van Gaal.

Holland coach Van Gaal will take over at Old Trafford following the World Cup as the permanent replacement for David Moyes, who was sacked in April following a dismal first season which ended up with United finishing seventh place in the Premier League and out of the European places.

Valencia added: "I am so happy to have signed a new deal and am looking forward to working with Louis van Gaal. There is great team spirit within the club and we are all determined to get back to winning ways."

Ryan Giggs, who will be Van Gaal's assistant, welcomed the news that former El Nacional and Villarreal winger Valencia had committed his future to the club.

The most decorated player in United's history said: "I'm really pleased Antonio has signed a new contract. His contribution to the team since he joined the club in 2009 has been fantastic.

"Antonio is a very powerful player with great speed and versatility. He is very professional in his approach to training and I am delighted he has committed his future to the club."

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Fellaini forgets Manchester United struggles in victory against Algeria

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National hero: Marouane Fellaini (centre) endured a disastrous season at club level but was superb after being introduced during his country’s World Cup opener.

When Marouane Fellaini was thrown into the fire to try and save Belgium against Algeria on Tuesday, most Manchester United fans would have begun smirking.

After all, this is the same Fellaini who was signed for an eye watering £27.5 million (Dh171.2m) last August yet failed to score a single goal in the club’s famous red shirt.

The same 26 year-old who looked like a man lost as the David Moyes era crumbled around his ears.

But at the end of an emphatic, game-changing 30-minute cameo here in Belo Horizonte, many of the snipers would have been singing a different tune. A brilliant equalising goal capped a performance which energised a Belgian side who were bereft of ideas and lacking zip.

So what changed? Well, for a start Fellaini was pushed into an advanced midfield position by manager Marc Wilmots, at times pushing so far forward he was operating as a second striker alongside fellow impact sub Divock Origi.

Under Moyes, a man who knew him well from their time at Everton but curiously was unable to play him in his correct position, he sat deep in front of the back four and was asked to shield.

That though is simply not his game and Tottenham defender Jan Vertonghen admits being puzzled at the way Fellaini was used at Old Trafford.

He said: “I know there has been a lot of pressure on him from the fans in England but in Belgium he always does well and scores goals. I’m very pleased for him and I gave him a hug after the game because I know that goal meant a lot to him.

“Marouane is a very cool guy. The pressure doesn’t really bother him too much. We know how to use him and I don’t know whether they do in his other team.”

Captain Vincent Kompany echoed Vertonghen’s thoughts and urged people to allow Fellaini time to show he is anything but an expensive flop , a sign of what went so badly wrong under Moyes.

“Fellaini is a terrific player and any player in his first season at a new club, it can be tough,” he stressed.

“You have to grant players a couple of seasons before you can judge someone. For us, with Belgium, he has been doing it time and time again.”

With Fellaini now pushing for a start against Russia on Sunday in Rio, Belgium will surely be rid of the nerves which flooded through their ranks in Belo Horizonte which played their part in Algeria stealing ahead with a 1-0 lead before that fightback was initiated.

“It was the very very first minutes of any World Cup ever for this generation of Belgian players, all of the players except for Daniel Van Buyten have never been at a World Cup,” added Kompany.

“Of course for those first 15 minutes, however much experience you have in wider football – I remember even Lionel Messi saying how he had felt the pressure when he first played at a World Cup – so how is it possible for us not to feel it?

“We never panicked, we stayed calm. It means a lot that we overcame a difficult start but as much as it means, we remain calm for the rest of the campaign as well, we know it will be tough against Russia – the biggest mistake we can do is underestimate these teams.”

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Arsenal captain agrees shock deal to join Manchester United

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Surprise move: Vermaelen is set to leave Arsenal for Manchester United.

Arsenal are set to lose captain Thomas Vermaelen after it was widely reported that the defender had agreed a deal in principle to join Manchester United. 

British newspaper The Telegraph reports that United will have to agree a fee but with Vermaelen having just one year left on his contract, the Gunners may be forced to sell rather than risk losing him for free.

Vermaelen struggled to force his way into the first team last season thanks to the superb partnership formed between Laurent Kocielny and Per Mertesacker.

The Belgian has also had a number of injuries that have hampered his opportunities in the first team, despite initially impressing after joining from Ajax and becoming the club captain.

It is believed that new Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal is keen to strengthen his backline after Nemanja Vidic departed for Inter Milan, and Rio Ferdinand was not handed a new deal at Old Trafford.

Vermaelen is currently in Brazil with the Belgium squad but it is believed that he wants his future to be sorted out before the World Cup ends.

The 28-year-old has the same agent as Robin van Persie who was key to helping the Dutch striker secure a move from Arsenal to Manchester United.

Should Vermaelen depart then it would be another major blow for Arsenal supporters who have seen Bacary Sagna join Manchester City and former captain Cesc Fabregas move to Chelsea. 

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