Sir Alex Ferguson made his first signing of what is expected to be a busy summer in the transfer market, when Wigan Athletic’s right winger Luis Antonio Valencia Mosquera signed in a £16 million deal yesterday. The Ecuadorian, nicknamed Toño Maravilla, has signed a four year contract on wages rumoured to be around £70,000 per week.
“Antonio is a player we have admired for some time now, having spent the last two years in the Premier League with Wigan,” Ferguson said.
“I am sure his pace and ability will make a significant contribution to the team.”
The tricky wide man, 23, is expected to take Cristiano Ronaldo’s number seven shirt. Despite being highly regarded at Old Trafford, he is unlikely to contribute to the scoresheet as frequently as the Portuguese player, with just seven goals in 89 appearances for Wigan.
“I have enjoyed my time at Wigan, but I am thrilled to have the chance to challenge for the biggest honours in club football here,” said Valencia, who has 34 caps and four goals for Ecuador.
“Playing in front of 76,000 fans alongside players like Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs will be an amazing experience. I can’t wait to get started.”
“I hope the fans at Wigan can understand that I am an ambitious guy and a chance like this might never come again for me.”
“I am happy that the club has benefited from the move financially because I owe them such a lot. I have had a great time here.”
United jet off to Asia for their pre-season tour in less than three weeks time and Ferguson will be relieved to have conducted his first piece of close-season business.
Meanwhile, reports suggest that United are close to sealing a deal for Olympique Lyonnais forward Karim Benzema for a fee of £38 million. While fans will take the speculation with a pinch of salt until a deal is sealed, there certainly appears to be some movement in United’s summer transfer plans.
|Appearances||89 (6 as sub)|
|Appearances||34 (1 as sub)|