Man Utd’s John O’Shea signs four-year Sunderland deal

Sunderland have made it eight summer signings after completing a move for Manchester United defender John O’Shea.

O’Shea, 30, has signed a four-year deal at the Stadium of Light after the clubs agreed an undisclosed fee.

The Republic of Ireland international follows Wes Brown to the north east after the England defender completed his move earlier on Thursday.

Manager Steve Bruce said: “O’Shea’s wealth of experience and versatility will be great attributes for us.”

The Black Cats had a joint bid for O’Shea, Brown and midfielder Darron Gibson accepted last month, but the move for the third of the trio seems to have slowed.

Brown, 31, and O’Shea will add experience to a Sunderland defence that was badly affected by injuries last season.

Bruce added: “John has been a solid, consistent part of Manchester United’s squad for well over a decade which goes to show the fantastic pedigree of player we have signed.

“He is a wonderful professional both on and off the field.

“I’m delighted with the players we’ve been able to secure ahead of the new season.”

O’Shea, who has only ever played for United in his career, added: “Once I’d heard reports about the club and the people here, the ambitions and what the manager was all about, this was the only place I was going to come to.”

As well as the United duo, Bruce has already completed a double raid on Birmingham by signing midfielders Craig Gardner and Sebastian Larsson, and brought in Ipswich striker Connor Wickham for an initial fee of £8.1m.

South Korea striker Ji Dong-Won and Coventry goalkeeper Kieren Westwood have also arrived, while the club have completed a permanent move for Egypt winger Ahmed Elmohamady after his loan spell last season.

Arsenal’s Nasri unlikely to join us – Sir Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed that Samir Nasri has agreed to leave Arsenal – but that the French midfielder will probably not join Manchester United.

Nasri, 24, has been linked with a move to Old Trafford, with the Gunners reportedly turning down a £20m bid from the Premier League champions.

“I don’t think he is coming to United,” said manager Ferguson, speaking at the start of his side’s United States tour.

“That is all I can tell you. I think he has agreed to go somewhere else.”

With Paul Scholes having retired in May, Ferguson is on the look-out for a replacement, with Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder and Tottenham’s Luka Modric also linked with a move to Manchester.

Nasri has also been tipped as a possible target for United as well as Manchester City, although Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger indicates he may keep the player for the final year of his contract – and thus risk losing him for nothing in a year’s time.

“That is his decision,” said Ferguson, when asked what he thought of Wenger’s stance. “He is the manager.

“If he stands by that decision, it is a brave one. I don’t know if the [Arsenal] directors will enjoy that one but it is possible. Maybe he will have to stay.”

Ferguson’s comments came after Wenger insisted Arsenal were doing all they could to do to keep both Nasri and captain Cesc Fabregas, who has been the subject of a £27m bid from Barcelona.

“Samir’s situation is clear for me – he stays,” Wenger told reporters in Malaysia ahead of the club’s pre-season tour to Asia. “I’ve told you that we are in a position where we can say ‘no’. And we will.”

Wenger added that Arsenal could not afford to lose both Nasri and Fabregas this summer.

“Imagine the worst situation – we lose Fabregas and Nasri,” said the Arsenal manager. “You cannot convince people you are ambitious after that. You cannot pretend you are a big club.

“A big club holds onto its big players and gives a message out to all the other big clubs that they just cannot come in and take [players] away from you.

“We worked very hard with these players for years to develop them and now it’s time for us to keep them together.”

Despite the rumours surrounding Fabregas and Nasri, Arsenal and England midfielder Theo Walcott is fully behind Arsene Wenger and is optimistic for the season ahead.

“The boss will see what the players have got in pre-season matches and see what they have got to offer this season,” Walcott told Sky Sports News.

“The boss knows what he’s doing, he’s done it year after year. Us players need to go on and win something, because it’s been a long time.

“You want to keep your best players and attract players as well. Only time will tell what’s going to happen.

“But it’s important to keep all of our best players and it’s important for players to come in as well,” Walcott added.

Manchester United confirm signing of David de Gea

Manchester United have confirmed the signing of goalkeeper David de Gea from Atletico Madrid on a five-year deal.

David de Gea holds up his new Man Utd shirt with boss Sir Alex Ferguson

The Spain Under-21 international, 20, underwent a medical at Old Trafford on Monday and will finalise what is thought to be an £18.9m move on Friday.

“I feel very proud and I can’t wait to start playing here,” De Gea told MUTV.

“When a club the size of Manchester United comes in for you, it obviously makes you very, very happy. I’m keen to do my best and show what I can do.”

The deal marks De Gea out as the second most expensive keeper behind Gianluigi Buffon, who cost Juventus £32.6m in 2001.

De Gea, part of the Spain squad that won the European Under-21 Championship on Saturday, is a product of Atletico’s youth academy, spending his first professional season with the club’s reserves in the Segunda Division B before making his senior debut as a substitute in the Champions League against Porto in September 2009.

Since then he has made nearly 100 senior appearances for the Spanish outfit.

His arrival at Old Trafford follows the departure of Edwin van der Sar, who retired after the Champions League final defeat by Barcelona in May.

In May, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson confirmed the Red Devils had been working on the De Gea deal for “quite a while”.

“He’s a young goalkeeper, very quick, good composure, presence and an outstanding replacement for Van der Sar,” Ferguson told the club website.

“We were looking for the same type of qualities as Edwin, because the one great quality Edwin always had was his composure and organisational ability.”

And, upon completion of the deal, De Gea added: “I saw Man Utd’s interest as an extra motivation to work even harder to show off my ability.

“It’s a great privilege to be part of a club like United.”

Ferguson currently has goalkeepers Tomasz Kuszczak, Anders Lindegaard and Ben Amos on his books but De Gea is widely expected to be the Scot’s number one in the new season.

The deal takes the Premier League champions’ summer spending past the £50m mark after the acquisitions of defender Phil Jones from Blackburn and Ashley Young from Aston Villa.

Manchester United signings impress Gary Neville

Former Manchester United full-back Gary Neville believes the decision to invest in promising players will reap rewards.

Jones (l), De Gea (c) and Young are United’s first three arrivals this summer

So far this summer United have signed youngsters Phil Jones and David de Gea as well as Ashley Young, who is becoming a regular for England.

“You’re seeing signings with potential that can grow and deliver better than what they have done before,” the 36-year-old told BBC Radio Manchester.

“Hungry players are always better than those who have got to the top already.”

Neville, who retired in February, was part of a side including David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes that won the FA Youth Cup in 1992, and believes focusing on youth will always be key.

“The way the club always buys players who haven’t reached the top of the mountain; they’ve always still got a climb to get there,” he continued.

“I think it’s been proven that when we try to buy the finished article it’s difficult to.

“Don’t get me wrong you can get people who have got to the top of the game and then can remain with that hunger, but I think it’s very difficult.

“I think the best thing is to get people who have still got that little bit of development to go, and the manager always extracts the maximum amount out of players. That’s the club policy and always will be.”

The former England full-back has been impressed with the arrivals of defender Jones from Blackburn, goalkeeper De Gea from Atletico Madrid and winger Young from Aston Villa.

“I think that Phil Jones will surprise everybody with what he’ll achieve here in the next few years,” he added.

“Ashley Young is an extremely talented person who can play left or right wing or off the front.

“He’s now looking to do what Rio [Ferdinand], Wayne [Rooney] and Michael Carrick have done and go to that next level in their career of winning trophies.

“De Gea, the goalkeeper, I think is someone who they must absolutely believe in 100%. Eric Steele [Man Utd goalkeeping coach] is meticulous in his preparation and he will have looked at him very closely.

“To get someone who is 20 years of age to replace Edwin van der Sar, they must be really confident in his ability.”

The Reds also continue to be linked to a number of players to replace retired midfielder Paul Scholes, particularly Arsenal’s Samir Nasri.

Neville says that although players like Scholes are unique, the new faces in the squad will adapt to a new style of play.

“When you get a player that is so great like Paul Scholes, you never replace them,” he said.

“It’s been the same like when Bryan Robson leaves, Eric Cantona, Roy Keane; these types of great players, you never replace them like for like.

“You always have to replace them in a different way and find a new way.

“You’re not going to find another Paul Scholes who lives within 20 minutes of Old Trafford, who loves the club like he does, and is going to perform like he has for the last 20 years.

“What the manager will find is another way of achieving success.”

Manchester United’s Wes Brown completes Sunderland move

Sunderland have completed the signing of Manchester United defender Wes Brown for an undisclosed fee.

Brown, 31, has agreed a four-year deal with the Black Cats, who are also chasing his United colleagues John O’Shea and Darron Gibson.

Brown made his United debut in 1998 and went on to make 361 appearances.

“We are delighted to welcome a player of Wes’s ability, experience and character to the club,” said Sunderland manager Steve Bruce.

Brown won two Champions League titles, five Premier League winners’ medals, two FA Cups and two League Cups with the Red Devils.

However, the Da Silva twins, Fabio and Rafael, have moved above him in the pecking order to play at right-back and the arrival of Phil Jones to complement central defenders Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Chris Smalling, suggests that opportunities to play first-team football next season would have been limited at Old Trafford.

“He has been a fantastic professional for Manchester United through the years and not only will he strengthen our defensive options, he will also bring with him a winning mentality and level of maturity which can only be positive for the players around him,” said Bruce.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson hailed Brown’s impact on a successful period in United’s history and wished the former England man well at the Stadium of Light.

“Wes has been a great asset to the club during the most successful period in its history,” Ferguson told his club’s official website.

“He was a product of the youth system and marked himself out from an early age as one of his generation’s most natural defenders. In his time with us, he certainly became a favourite with the fans for his no-nonsense approach to the game and his infectious personality.

“It’s always the hardest of decisions to let loyal servants go. But life moves on and, unquestionably, Wes will get the chance to make a real contribution to Steve Bruce’s Sunderland and I’m delighted to be passing him into such good hands.

“Everyone connected with United wishes him a long and happy stay at Sunderland.”

Brown is expected to be joined at the Stadium of Light by O’Shea, 30, who travelled to Sunderland on Thursday for a medical, but the future of Gibson, 23, is less clear, with Newcastle also showing an interest.

Meanwhile, Sunderland chief executive Steve Walton and marketing and commercial director Lesley Callaghan are both to leave the club.

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