Suarez explains Ricardo sale

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REAL VALLADOLID president Carlos Suarez has confirmed that a deal has been agreed to take Ricardo to Manchester United.

The 30-year-old will be unveiled as a pre-deadline signing for The Red Devils, although Fabien Barthez has taken a step closer to full fitness by playing in a behind-closed-doors friendly game.

A three-year deal has been agreed at Old Trafford, and the Spanish international is expected to be included in the squad to face Sunderland on Saturday, providing all the paperwork is completed in time.

"We had to consider that Ricardo would have been on a free transfer next season and we would have received nothing for him," declared Suarez.

"This way, the sale to Manchester alleviates our battered economic situation and gives the player an impressive jump in quality in his career."

It is understood that the keeper has already passed his medical and is to start training with his new team-mates, after flying in from Spain last night.

"It is a great opportunity," he smiled. "And to go to Manchester United is the greatest.

"I hope to adapt well."

The deal is between ‚é¼2.5 million and ‚é¼3 million, and will increase competition for the keeper's jersey at Old Trafford.

Ricardo was left out of Inaki Saez's squad for the match with Greece, but he was included in the World Cup party, and the first selection named by the new Spanish coach.