Ricardo in but Barthez back soon

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SIR ALEX FERGUSON has confirmed the capture of Real Valladolid keeper Ricardo, and the deal has been sealed in time for the Spanish international to feature against Sunderland on Saturday.

The Manchester United manager has made it clear that his main priority was to get his new arrival registered in time to play in the Champions League, but Fabien Barthez should be back, in any case, in time for the Bolton clash on September 11.

Frenchman Barthez is recovering from a hip problem but the extra pressure on his place is designed to help bring out the best in the United number one, who was generally below par last term.

"Ricardo's doing his medical," Ferguson had confirmed. 

"We hope to have him over at Old Trafford this afternoon, but I don't think we'll get him registered in time for tomorrow's game.

"The important thing is it makes him available for European football, which was the main intention.

"Ricardo's got the experience and he's the second choice for Spain, and some people say that, if he was with a bigger club, he'd be in the national side," he told United's official website. 

"His experience and his ability to play at international level made it an easy choice really.

"At this moment in time, Fabien has an injury and that concern over the injury has made me have to move for a third goalkeeper.

"Fabien won't be fit for tomorrow.

"He might be fit for Tuesday - he'll certainly be fit for the Bolton match."

Planetfootball.com exclusively revealed United's intention to sign Ricardo on Wednesday evening, and the player did pass his medical in time to be registered for the match on Wearside.