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Pique to seize chance

Source: Sky Sports

Red Devils stopper keen to end frustration
By James Pearson/8th April 2008


Manchester United's Spanish defender Gerard Pique is ready to seize his first-team chance following the weekend injury to Rio Ferdinand.

Pique is likely to start for The Red Devils alongside Wes Brown against Roma on Wednesday with Ferdinand joining Nemanja Vidic on the sidelines last week.

Ferdinand hobbled out of United's 2-2 draw with Middlesbrough, although his loss did not weaken Sir Alex Ferguson's side with Pique impressing off the bench late on.

Former Barcelona youngster Pique has been waiting in the wings for some time for a chance and has no intention of letting this current opportunity to impress slip through his fingers.

"I'm ready," said Pique. "I've waited a long time to get a chance in a game like this. It's what I dreamt of when I left Barcelona.

"It's been frustrating because the manager told me in the summer that I would figure in his plans but Rio and Vida have been playing so well that I haven't had a chance.

"We are more mature as a team this season. People said we struggled last year when Rio and Vida were injured and we were knocked out of the Champions League by Milan but I think we are stronger now."
 

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Agent plays down Pique exit talk

Source: Tom Adams/Setanta Sports, 09 April 2008

Gerard Pique's agent has told setantasports.com that reports linking his client with Barcelona are wide of the mark and that the young Spaniard is purely focused on matters at Manchester United at present.

Pique joined United as a fresh faced 17-year-old from Barcelona's academy in the summer of 2004 but his career at Old Trafford has not progressed in a similar vein to his former Barca team-mate, Cesc Fabregas, who has made 117 Premier League starts to his 5.

He enjoyed a successful loan spell with Real Zaragoza last season though and there have been suggestions that Barca's sporting director Txiki Beguristain is a fan of the defender despite Pique angering the Catalan club when leaving Spain for England four years ago.

His agent Arturo Canales insists there is ‘nothing' in such rumours though, and that the defender – who may well play in Wednesday night's game against Roma should Rio Ferdinand not be fit – is only focused on making a success of his time at Old Trafford.

“I have seen that in the press too but there is nothing,†Canales told setantasports.com.

“He has one more year left on his contract and the only thing now is to concentrate on the Champions League.

“The only thing is for him to focus and to see if Manchester United can go through.â€

If Pique does step in for Ferdinand then he is unlikely to be fazed by the occasion given he scored one of his two goals in United colours against Roma in the clubs' group stage encounter in December.
 
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