Argentina’s star midfielder Juan Sebastian Veron said he will be joining Manchester United next week in a 23.4-million-pound (US$33.15 million) transfer from Italian giants Lazio, Saturday’s Daily Mirror reported. A Report from Italy on Friday said Lazio president Sergio Cragnotti claimed the deal had been done though he added nothing was official.
Saturday’s Mirror now claims Veron, who was cleared over his involvement in the false passport scandal, had taken the advice of England coach and former Lazio boss Sven-Goran Eriksson before deciding to plump for United. “I definitely want to sign for the club. It would fill me with pride to wear the shirt of Manchester United,” Veron said. Veron said Eriksson told him playing for a Premiership club like United, alongside England captain David Beckham, would be a good step for his career. The midfielder’s father, Juan Ramon Veron, even scored the winner for Argentinian club Estudiantes against United in a World Club Championship match in 1968. “I spoke extensively with Mr Eriksson, with whom I have an excellent rapport,” said Veron. “He gave me a lot of advice and explained a lot of things. He really pushed me hard to come and play in England.” Veron is also eager to play alongside Beckham, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes at Old Trafford. “It is always a great pleasure to play with people of great calibre. I love players who have already made their mark in football history. But above all, Manchester United are a great team. And the team is always greater than any player.”