Silvestre extends United stay

By James Rowland
Wednesday 18 December 2002 01:00
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The Manchester United defender Mikaël Silvestre has agreed a new contract which will keep him at Old Trafford until at least 2007.

The four-year extension comes as Silvestre has cemented his place in the side with a number of impressive displays at centre-half in the absence of Rio Ferdinand and Laurent Blanc.

United's manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, said: "I was delighted that Mikaël wanted to stay at Manchester United, and for the last few weeks the negotiations between both sides have gone very smoothly. He's been playing really well for us this season, and yet he is still a young man who has not reached his peak. We can see a terrific future for him at United."

Commenting on the deal Silvestre said: "I am really pleased to have agreed a new deal because I'm proud to be a member of this team. It is such a great club with great players. I wanted to sign a new contract so that I could achieve even more success with United, and I'm really looking forward to the next four years."

Manchester City are a step closer to signing the midfielder Djamel Belmadi from Marseilles after he completed a trial with Kevin Keegan's team.

The Marseilles coach, Alain Perrin, is set to let Belmadi move to Maine Road on a permanent basis when the transfer window opens on 1 January. Although City have yet to make a firm bid for the 26-year-old, Perrin says he has heard that Belmadi's recent trial with City went well and expects the deal to go ahead.

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