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Henrik Larsson going on loan to Manchester United

Henrik Larsson going on loan to Manchester United

Veteran striker Henrik Larsson will join Manchester United on loan during Sweden's winter offseason.
The 35-year-old will go to United when the transfer window opens on Jan. 1 and return on March 12 before the Swedish league starts, Larsson's club Helsingborg said.
"Alex Ferguson called last night and welcomed me to the club," Larsson said at a news conference in Helsingborg. "It's a good time period, not too long and not too short. I discussed it with my family and when they said 'OK,' there was no hesitation."
Ferguson said Larsson, one of Sweden's greatest ever players, would be a "terrific boost" for United's attack with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Alan Smith sidelined with injuries.
"Henrik has great pedigree and character. He also has goalscoring ability and can change games _ we're very pleased," Ferguson said. "He's a goal scorer. He can play anywhere on the front line."
The eight-time Premier League champion inquired about the former Celtic and FC Barcelona player 2 1/2 weeks ago and a contract was signed Thursday, said Krister Azelius, secretary of the Helsingborg's board. He declined to reveal the financial details.
"We are happy, and they are happy," Azelius told The Associated Press.
"I am really happy we have got him," Ferguson said. "I would have liked to have signed him long ago but I knew he wanted to go to Barcelona and then he went home."
Azelius said Larsson would be able to play in the Champions League for United, because Helsingborg did not play in Europe this season.
Larsson turned down a contract extension with European champion Barcelona last season to move back to Sweden to finish his career.
Larsson was one of Europe's most prolific scorers while at Celtic, where he netted 174 goals in 221 games in 1997-2004.
However, Larsson's first season with Barcelona was largely ruined by a knee injury, and he was mostly a substitute in his second season.
Larsson said his fitness would not be a concern.
"There are no problems. I would never have done this if I didn't feel like I could manage," he said.
"I've seen United quite a bit _ a few times in the Champions League and when they faced Chelsea last week. There are really good players in the team. I have played against many of them. Hopefully, that will make the situation easier."
Larsson said it was not yet clear what role he would have at the Red Devils.
"I guess there will be a substitution here and there, maybe a match from the start," he said. "It feels like a very fun thing to take part in something like this so late in my career."
Larsson played as a second-half substitute for Barcelona in its 2-1 win over Arsenal in the Champions League final in May.
"When you think back to the Champions League final, he was the one who won it for Barcelona when he came on," Ferguson said.
Larsson earned his first cap for Sweden in 1993. He scored 36 goals in 93 matches before retiring from the national team this year.
Larsson was made a Member of the British Empire in May for his sportsmanship and services to soccer. He was nominated for the honor by Celtic fans, who came to refer to the striker as the "King of Kings" during seven successful years.


Updated : 2021-10-26 04:33 GMT+08:00