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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Arsenal signs Silvestre

Arsenal have signed Manchester United's France international defender Mikael Silvestre for an undisclosed fee.

The 31-year-old joined United in September 1999 and had one year left on his contract at Old Trafford, but has now signed a two-year deal at Arsenal.

He made 249 Premier League appearances in nearly nine years with United.

Silvestre, also linked with Manchester City and Bordeaux, missed most of last season with a knee ligament injury, but returned to action in April.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger told his club's website: "We have a strong squad but a young squad.

"Mikael's versatility, experience and calibre will provide the extra depth we need to reinforce our challenge for honours this season.

"His defensive adaptability will serve us well, and it's a big plus that Mikael has top-level experience and a great understanding of football in the Premier League."

Silvestre had faced competition for the left-back slot at Old Trafford since Patrice Evra arrived from Monaco in 2006, while Nemanja Vidic has established himself as Rio Ferdinand's first-choice central defensive partner.

He has become the first player to be sold to the Gunners by United since Brian Kidd in 1974.