Belfast Telegraph

Young knows the score as he sets 20th title target for Manchester United

By Carl Markham

New Manchester United signing Ashley Young is already targeting the club's 20th league title after agreeing a five-year deal at Old Trafford.

The England international, 26 next month, passed a medical in Manchester yesterday and the formalities of the transfer, reported to be worth anything between £16million and £20million, from Aston Villa were completed within 24 hours.

He becomes United's second signing of the summer, following Blackburn's England Under-21 international Phil Jones after he was signed for £16.5million.

“The opportunity to come and play for one of the biggest clubs in the world is one I couldn't turn down,” said Young.

“It's a chance to hopefully become part of the history by helping to win the 20th title.

“It's a prospect I always looked at from being a child — to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world. I've got that opportunity now so I've just got to take it with two hands.”

Manager Sir Alex Ferguson will hope Young can play a key role as he begins overhauling the squad which won a record 19th title in May.

The forward scored 39 goals in 193 appearances but, significantly, in the last five Premier League seasons only Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas has provided more assists.

Despite United finishing nine points clear of second-placed Chelsea last season, Ferguson always knew he would have to make changes to the playing staff.

The retirements of Paul Scholes, Gary Neville and Edwin van der Sar left huge holes in terms of experience while other exits — such as Wes Brown — are expected.

Injury-plagued Owen Hargreaves' release this summer freed up another place in the squad while veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs will be 38 in November and centre-back Rio Ferdinand has struggled with his fitness over the last couple of years.

To that end the Red Devils boss has moved quickly in the transfer market by bringing in two of England's brightest talents.

In doing so he has also stolen a march on arch-rival Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool, who was interested in both Young and Jones.

The spending will not stop there, however, as next on the list is the replacement for Van der Sar.

It seems likely Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David De Gea will fill that key position, with Ferguson revealing United had been working on the transfer for some time.

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