Manchester United have confirmed the deal that sees former Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes join on an 18-month contract.
The three-time Champions League winner will join the club as back-up for David De Gea, with his signature likely to spark the departure of Anders Lindegaard and possibly Ben Amos as well.
Following the move, Valdes told Manchester United's website: "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."
Manager Louis van Gaal said of the deal: "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."
The club announced that the 32-year-old had signed on at Old Trafford as understudy having been convinced that the former Barcelona goalkeeper – who has not played since sustaining a serious knee injury nine months ago - is not a long-term medical risk.
But though 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.
The decision to register Valdes and take him onto the books comes after a two-month analysis of his fitness by United. Their conviction that he does have a future for them will compound the frustration of Liverpool, whose uncertainty led to a reluctance to commit to him. It is thought the Anfield club wanted to take Valdes on trial. Their indifference is thought to have contributed to an uncertainty on his part about a future on Merseyside.
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