Pique: I couldn't refuse United

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Spanish starlet Gerard Pique claims the opportunity to join Manchester United this summer was one he could not turn down.

The 17-year-old caused a huge stir in Spain when he opted to turn his back on his first professional contract at Barcelona to join United.

The Catalan giants were left fuming at his decision, but Pique believes he will develop as a player at Old Trafford.

"Sir Alex Ferguson told me what Manchester United were going to do for me and what they were expecting from me in return," he stated.

"After listening to him, I thought it was a great opportunity for me to grow as a player and to experience playing abroad.

"Barcelona were not pleased by my decision, but they have to understand that if they don't take care of a player's aspirations, it's logical that they will accept another club's offer.

"That's what I did to further my career. I feel calm about that decision - but I will always have Barcelona in my heart."

Pique's controversial departure from Barca mirrored that of close friend, and Spain Under-17 team-mate Cesc, who is rapidly making a name for himself at Arsenal.

Pique admits he might have to wait to make the same kind of impact at Old Trafford, but is hopeful he will be a regular in two years' time.

"Nobody knows how long it will take for me to get into United's first team," he continued.

"I will give it everything I have got and then perhaps in two years' time, I will be in the team."

United have continued their policy of monitoring the world's top young talent by handing a trial to Zambian youth player Mwaba Mulenga.

The young striker, who plays for Kitwe United in his homeland, has been at Old Trafford for the past two weeks, as the coaching staff have run the rule over him.

Meanwhile, two United youngsters appeared in court on Thursday charged with dangerous driving.

Mads Timm, 19, and Callum Flanagan, 18, were both granted bail, but will return to court to have their cases heard on September 30.