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On This Day: Diego Forlan arrives in Manchester to complete United move

:Headline: On This Day: Diego Forlan arrives in Manchester to complete United move:
The Uruguayan forward was tempted to Old Trafford by Six Alex Ferguson.
Sports Mole

Diego Forlan arrived at Manchester Airport on this day in 2002 ahead of completing a move to Manchester United.

The Uruguayan forward had opted to join Sir Alex Ferguson's Premier League champions from Argentinian side Independiente ahead of Middlesbrough.

Following his arrival at the airport, Forlan, then aged 22, said: "The offer was bigger for the club, for Independiente, and for me. I was going to go to Middlesbrough, but Manchester offered more."

Diego Forlan, right, was brought in by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson (Martin Rickett/PA)

Boro's manager at the time Steve McClaren thought he had pipped his old boss Ferguson to Forlan's signature earlier that week when chief executive Keith Lamb flew to South America and agreed a fee with Independiente.

But Independiente cooled towards Middlesbrough when the Teessiders said they wanted to pay the fee in instalments.

Independiente wanted a one-off payment, and that opened the door for United, who had been tracking Forlan for weeks.

The transfer, for around £7million, was wrapped up a few days after Forlan flew in as he signed a four-and-a-half-year contract.

Forlan's United career saw him score 17 goals in 98 appearances for the club (Phil Noble/PA)

He went on to score 17 goals in 98 appearances in all competitions for United before moving on to Villarreal in 2004.

While he had a difficult time with the Red Devils – which included not netting until his 27th appearance – he did register a brace in a 2-1 win at Liverpool in December 2002, and claimed league and FA Cup winners' medal.

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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City26195252163662
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd26148453322150
3Leicester CityLeicester26154745301549
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
5Chelsea26128641251644
6Liverpool26127747341343
7Everton2412483733440
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs25116841271439
9Aston Villa24123938261239
10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2697102733-634
13Crystal Palace2696112943-1433
14Southampton2586113143-1230
15Burnley2677121834-1628
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
18Fulham26411112132-1123
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2632211543-2811
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Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City26195252163662
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd26148453322150
3Leicester CityLeicester26154745301549
4West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
5Chelsea26128641251644
6Liverpool26127747341343
7Everton2412483733440
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs25116841271439
9Aston Villa24123938261239
10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2697102733-634
13Crystal Palace2696112943-1433
14Southampton2586113143-1230
15Burnley2677121834-1628
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
18Fulham26411112132-1123
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2638152055-3517
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2632211543-2811
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