Pompey pounce for De Laet

Cotterill wins race for United stopper

De Laet: Loan switch

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Skysports.com understands Portsmouth have signed Manchester United defender Ritchie de Laet.

Portsmouth are believed to have beaten off the interest of a host of Championship clubs to land the highly-rated Belgian.

De Laet has only recently returned to Old Trafford after a loan spell at Preston and the versatile defender also enjoyed a spell at Sheffield United earlier this season.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is happy to loan out De Laet so that he can gain some valuable first-team experience.

Pompey chief Steve Cotterill has been keen to bolster his squad and he has agreed a deal to keep De Laet at Fratton Park until the end of the season.

De Laet could go straight into the Portsmouth squad for this weekend's trip to Nottingham Forest.