Carrick takes over Keane's number

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Michael Carrick will carry a little extra weight on his shoulders at Manchester United.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:36 IST
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Michael Carrick will carry a little extra weight on his shoulders at Manchester United. United manager Alex Ferguson handed his new 18.6-million-pound signing the No. 16 shirt on Tuesday. It hasn't been worn since November 2005, when former captain Roy Keane left the club. "I said to him, 'I'm giving you the No. 16 jersey' so he was delighted at that," Ferguson said. "I think that showed great courage because sometimes players are a bit superstitious about things like that but he was keen and said he would gladly take (it)." The 25-year-old England international midfielder completed his move from Tottenham after passing a medical at Old Trafford on Monday to become United's first new signing of the summer break. "It's an offer that has come at the right time - professionally and personally," Carrick said. "I felt I couldn't turn it down. This is a soccer decision, a decision not driven by money. "I've had a great time at Spurs and the club has been brilliant for me. Martin (Jol) is a great manager and has done an enormous amount for my career. He gave me a chance when I needed it, stood by me and I will always thank him for that." Terms of Carrick's contract were not disclosed, but he will reportedly earn 50,000-pounds a week. United was able to meet Tottenham's asking price after it sold striker Ruud van Nistelrooy to Real Madrid for a reported 10 million pounds. Carrick is the fifth most expensive signing in United history, with only Van Nistelrooy, Rio Ferdinand, Juan Sebastien Veron, and Wayne Rooney costing more. He is the sort of player United has been looking for since the departure last season of Keane, who moved to Celtic before retiring. Carrick has pretty big shoes to fill - in 13 seasons with United, Keane helped the Red Devils to seven League titles, four FA Cups and a Champions League trophy. Carrick originally joined Tottenham from West Ham in August 2004 for a fee of 2.75 million pounds. In two seasons with Spurs, he scored two goals in 71 games and helped the team clinch a UEFA Cup spot with a fifth-place finish last season. Carrick has seven caps with England. (AP)