Ronaldo to leave Manchester United ‘with immediate effect’
Manchester United have agreed a £42m deal to sign Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain after a two-week impasse between their owners to find a replacement for Carlos Tevez.
Sir Alex Ferguson, who has now confirmed the move, says he is confident Higuain will give United the goals he required at the Bernabeu and for whom they paid a club record £33m last summer.
But United failed with Tevez, the club’s highest paid player, and now require a significant financial outlay to replace the striker in what is believed to be their first major signing since they won the Europa League in 2009.
United insist Higuain, who has also been linked with Bayern Munich, will be made available to the first-team squad on Monday, when he will have a medical.
Gonzalo Higuain’s agent Javier Zanetti has confirmed his client will sign a four-year contract with Manchester United after being informed of a contract offer from the club.
The Argentina great, whose previous club Atletico Mineiro collapsed after finishing third in the Argentine league last season with just three points, has signed a four-year contract with United.
Meanwhile, Ferguson defended his decision to sell Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez after the Dutchman was involved in an altercation in training with his Real Sociedad team-mate David Villa, who has not had the best of games this season.
In a statement, the club said: “During training, Robin van Persie had a heated discussion with David Villa and then left the training ground before the end of the session.
“Van Persie’s actions were completely unacceptable and disrespectful to his team-mates and the supporters.
“The matter was dealt with in the correct manner by the appropriate authorities and the club will co-operate fully with any disciplinary authorities in this regard.
“As a club we hold ourselves accountable for the behaviour of our players and their behaviour is extremely important to us.
“We fully support Robin in his desire to leave and apologise for the way we dealt with this issue earlier this week.”
Van Persie scored 29 goals for the club last season and Ferguson says he feels he has been unfairly singled out for criticism during