Manchester United sign Gabriel Obertan from Bordeaux on fouryear contract
The 20 year-old, who can play on either flank or as an out-and-out striker, has signed a four-year contract after passing his medical at Old Trafford yesterday, although the champions have confirmed a slight injury concern which will keep him out of the club's pre-season tour of the Far East. 'Gabriel is a player we have tracked for a few years now, but because of his educational program our efforts to get him here have always been delayed,' said Sir Alex Ferguson, United's manager. 'We are delighted to get him now as he is an exciting prospect. We like to get young players in and develop them, and we will see that in Gabriel over the next two years.' Obertan, a product of France's famed Clairefontaine academy, was loaned out by Bordeaux for the second half of last season to lowly Lorient as manager Laurent Blanc feared the youngster would lack playing time in their ultimately successful title challenge. Despite playing 15 games at Lorient, Obertan managed just one goal. His move to Old Trafford, then, has come as a surprise to many in France, including Blanc, who revealed the player must 'overcome psychological and mental challenges if he is to express his true value". 'It is an unexpected chance for him to play for one of the best clubs in the world,' Blanc added. 'They certainly hope to advance him, which is something Bordeaux and Lorient failed to do.' The player, though, admits such concerns were far from his mind when presented with the chance to join the Champions League finalists. 'I am very happy to move to Manchester United. This is a big opportunity for me to play at such a great club. I am very excited to be here and I look forward to proving what I can do.'
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