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Wayne Rooney joins Manchester United
Updated: 2004-09-01 08:57

Wayne Rooney joined Manchester United on Tuesday despite a last minute holdup caused by his broken foot.

Wayne Rooney signs autographs for the fans after signing for Manchester United at Old Trafford, Manchester, August 31 2004. [Reuters]
Manchester United finalized the deal to acquire the 18-year-old striker from Everton at the transfer deadline date. The six-year deal is worth US$48.3 million; with agent fees, the total soars to US$54 million.

"It was a tough decision to leave Everton, the club I've supported and played for all my life, but I'm excited to be joining a club as big as Manchester United," Rooney said in a statement released by his new team. "I feel this can only improve my career, playing with top players in top competitions like the Champions League and I can't wait to meet up with the team."

Rooney was scheduled to attend a news conference Wednesday.

"I am very excited, I think we have got the best young player this country has seen in the past 30 years," United coach Alex Ferguson said. "Everyone is delighted by this signing."

In the hours before the signing, Rooney visited a Manchester hospital twice to have his broken right foot examined. He broke the metatarsal bone playing against Portugal at Euro 2004 in June and will be out of action for at least another month.

England international soccer striker Wayne Rooney (right) leaves the Alexandra Hospital in Manchester , England, Tuesday Aug. 31, 2004. Manchester United announced Tuesday it had reached an 'outline agreement' to sign Rooney from Everton. [Reuters]

Rooney was one the biggest stars of Euro 2004 with four goals before his injury in the quarterfinals. England lost to Portugal in a penalty shootout.

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