Manchester United's second signing of the Malcolm Glazer era was completed yesterday when the South Korean international Park Ji-Sung signed from PSV Eindhoven for £4m.
The 24-year-old midfielder, who proved his pedigree during PSV's run to the Champions' League semi-finals last season, marked his arrival with the announcement that he would not be just a marketing tool in United's Far East tour next month. However, his signing will push United to lighten their wage bill in midfield.
Sir Alex Ferguson will listen to offers for the Brazilian Kleberson and there is also doubt over Liam Miller's future after a disappointing debut season. The acquisition of Park, who can also play at right-back, could also reduce Kieran Richardson's chances of returning from his loan spell at West Bromwich Albion.
"I am confident I can prove myself at one of the world's top clubs," Park said. "I want to show my value to United in terms of my ability, not for a marketing strategy for Asia. I am not going to England for business."
Ferguson, who also paid around £2m for the goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar, has a big squad from which to make cuts and John O'Shea's future is also likely to come under scrutiny.
United's fans are bracing themselves for the first round of cost-cutting at Old Trafford after Glazer officially delisted the club from the Stock Exchange yesterday following his takeover, a deal that could eventually cost more than £830m. After 14 years of trading in United shares, the club is now owned by the American, who is understood to have passed the mark allowing him to make compulsory purchase of the remaining stock outside his control. His advisers will reveal the size of his stake in the club on Monday.
United confirmed they will play their feeder club Royal Antwerp on 3 August as part of their pre-season programme.
* FC United of Manchester, the club formed by anti-Glazer fans, have appointed the former Rotherham player Karl Marginson, 34, as manager. The club will begin life in the North West Counties League Second Division in August.
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