at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
London – Japan midfielder Shinji Kagawa has joined Manchester United on a four-year deal from German champions Borussia Dortmund, the Premier League side announced Friday.
The 23-year-old passed a medical earlier Friday and veteran United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was confident Kagawa would enjoy a successful spell with the English giants.
“Shinji is an exciting young midfielder with great skill, vision and a good eye for goal,” said Ferguson.
“I am delighted he has chosen to come to United. I believe he will make an impact upon the team very quickly as he is suited to United's style of play.
“We are all looking forward to working with him.”
Kagawa's arrival was a boost for United, who were within minutes of retaining their Premier League title last season until a late winner on the final day for Manchester City in a 3-2 win over Queens Park Rangers saw their cross-town rivals crowned champions instead.
With City bankrolled by wealthy Abu Dhabi-based owners, and Champions League winners Chelsea, who recently beat United to the signing of French playmaker Edin Hazard, backed by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, fears have been expressed over Ferguson's ongoing ability to compete in the transfer market.
United also needed to strengthen their midfield given Darren Fletcher has still to recover from a bowel complaint and there are also concerns regarding the fitness of Anderson.
Midfielder Paul Scholes abandoned his retirement half-way through last season and, together with fellow Old Trafford veteran Ryan Giggs, has signed on for a further year with United.
But in Kagawa the Red Devils have a highly-regarded young player.
He helped Dortmund land successive German titles and scored 17 goals as they completed a domestic double last season.
Kagawa, having been ruled out of the Olympic football tournament in London, is set to feature in United's pre-season tour of South Africa and China.
“This is a challenge I am really looking forward to,” said Kagawa.
“The Premier League is the best league in the world and Manchester United is such a massive club.
“This is a really exciting time for me. I can't wait to meet the team and start playing.” – Sapa-AFP