Duo sign United deals
By Mark Buckingham
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Ryan Giggs and Tim Howard have signed new contracts with Manchester United.
Ryan Giggs has resolved his contract wrangle with Manchester United by signing a two-year extension, while Tim Howard has also penned a fresh deal at Old Trafford.
The recent takeover saga at United has not affected the club's contract plans after they thrashed out deals with Giggs and Howard.
Giggs has been in prolonged negotiations with The Red Devils for the past couple of months regarding an extension to his contract which was due to expire next summer.
The Wales international wanted to be rewarded with a two-year deal, while the club were refusing to budge from their policy of offering their older players 12-month extensions.
But it appears Giggs' argument has won the day, with the experienced winger now tied to United until 2008.
He has been followed in signing a new contract by American goalkeeper Howard, with Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson delighted to have the matter resolved ahead of this week's FA Cup final with Arsenal.
"Ryan has been a fantastic servant and it is comforting to know that he will be here for another three years, possibly ending his career at United," Ferguson told the club's official website.
"To think he joined as a 13-year-old boy and to be at a club for 20 years is unique in this era.
"Tim is a young, gifted goalkeeper who is progressing all the time and needs experience playing in our league. This extended contract gives Tim the opportunity to progress in his career."
Giggs admits he is delighted that he has been able to reach an accord with United and prolong his association with his only club.
The 31-year-old said: "I always wanted to stay and I am happy that everything has worked out."
Howard has earned his new deal, which keeps him at Old Trafford until 2009, despite the uncertainty surrounding the goalkeeping position at United.
The United States international has been vying with Roy Carroll for the number one jersey this term but neither shot-stopper has convinced in the role.
That has not deterred Ferguson from handing Howard a longer contract and the keeper had no qualms in pledging his future to the club.
"I have enjoyed my time so far with Manchester United but you recognise you are always learning," said Howard.
"The fans here are amazing and I am happy to be committing my future to the club."