| 17.1°C Dublin

Victor Valdes completes Manchester United move to become "number two" keeper

Close

Victor Valdes has joined Manchester United

Victor Valdes has joined Manchester United

Victor Valdes has joined Manchester United

Manchester United have announced the signing of former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes on an initial 18-month contract with an option for a further year

Valdes has been training at United since October as part of his bid to recover from a knee injury he suffered in March.

The Spaniard has now regained full fitness and United confirmed he had signed a deal with the 20-time English champions.

The 32-year-old will compete with fellow Spaniard David de Gea for a first team place at Old Trafford.

Victor Valdes said: "It is a real honour to sign for Manchester United. I would like to thank Louis van Gaal and the club for allowing me to do my rehabilitation and to train with the team at the Aon Training Complex.

"From my short time here I can already see this is a very special club. I worked with Louis van Gaal during my time at FC Barcelona and to have the opportunity to work with him here at Manchester United is a dream come true."

Valdes left Barcelona last summer following a successful 12-year spell with the Catalan giants.

Valdes won six domestic titles, three Champions Leagues and lifted the Copa del Rey on two occasions while with Barca.

The goalkeeper has also won the World Cup and European Championship with Spain.

Louis van Gaal confirmed, however, that Valdes will start his time at United as second choice behind compatriot David de Gea, who has enjoyed a superb season so far.

Louis van Gaal said: "I am delighted Victor has signed for the club. Victor is a very experienced goalkeeper and his record speaks for itself.

"I have said on many occasions that Manchester United will always be interested in the best players. Victor has remained very professional throughout his rehabilitation from injury and has been very impressive during his training sessions with the first team over the past weeks.

"He joins the club as the number two goalkeeper and is a great addition to the first team."

Van Gaal handed Valdes his Barca debut 13 years ago and has been impressed by the goalkeeper's attitude during training sessions at United's Carrington base.

Valdes said it was an "honour" to sign for United, but acknowledged he faces an extremely tough fight to earn a first-team place at Old Trafford.

"I think now, in the moment, (De Gea) is the best goalkeeper in the world," Valdes told MUTV.

"His performances every day and in every game shows everybody that his level is very high.

"He has had a great year and it is very nice."

Valdes does not appear to have any qualms about being De Gea's deputy.

"I am here to help everybody," he said.

"Always in my career, I have played to help my team-mates, to help my coach and to help everybody.

"I am a part of the team and I am not a problem, I am just a part of the team."

On being reunited with Van Gaal, Valdes said: "I would like to thank Louis van Gaal and the club for allowing me to do my rehabilitation and to train with the team at the Aon Training Complex.

"From my short time here I can already see this is a very special club. I worked with Louis van Gaal during my time at FC Barcelona and to have the opportunity to work with him here at Manchester United is a dream come true."

The decision to sign the Catalonian until 2017 will create doubts about De Gea, who has only 18 months left on his contract, the prospects of Real Madrid bringing the 24-year-old back to Spain this summer are not thought to be substantial. Valdes is considered as a goalkeeper who can provide the kind of genuine competition for De Gea which current No 2 Lindegaard is not offering.

Van Gaal has does not consider Lindegaard to be good enough and United had anticipated since the autumn that he would leave Old Trafford this month.

They also seem ready to let third choice Ben Amos leave if another club come in for him. He was criticised by Van Gaal for letting in Miralem Pjanic's 60-yard lob against Roma in pre-season. The only other goalkeeping option is 21-year-old Sam Johnstone, who is on loan at Doncaster Rovers.

United are relaxed about De Gea’s future, after a first half to the 2014/15 campaign in which he has established himself as the top keeper in the Premier League and have been more focused on offloading players in the past month. Anderson is another player United are anxious to get off the payroll and Adnan Januzaj may leave on loan to Paris Saint Germain.

Online Editors