Pique gets United chance

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Manchester United have handed Spanish youngster Gerard Pique a five-year deal.

The 17-year-old moved to Old Trafford in the summer as a trainee after leaving Spanish giants Barcelona.

After making three first team appearances this season, Pique has been handed a long-term deal by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Pique celebrates his 18th birthday at the start of February and he could ask for no greater present than a chance to prove himself at United.

"I will give it everything I've got and then maybe in two years I will be in the team," said Pique.

The central defender will find it tough to get into the starting XI however, with Rio Ferdinand and Mikael Silvestre forming a sturdy partnership of late, while the likes of John O'Shea and Gary Neville can also fill in.

Wes Brown has found it hard to get a game himself, and he says that it has never been tougher to get into United's side.

"This is the toughest period in my career in terms of competition for places," said Brown.