Gray departs for Deepdale
Posted by nickogs20 on July 16, 2010
United’s Scotland Under-21 defender David Gray has joined Preston North End on a free transfer.
Gray, 22, was out of contract at Old Trafford this summer, and although Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson offered his compatriot a new deal (as we revealed back in April), the right-back has instead chosen to link up with the great man’s son Darren in the Championship. The Edinburgh-born youngster has signed a two-year deal at Deepdale and goes straight into the squad for their pre-season friendly with non-league Chorley this evening.
With his solitary first-team appearance for the Reds coming nearly four years ago now and the younger Rafael blocking any obvious route into the first-team, Gray’s decision to make the move away from United to further his career is understandable, especially having had a regular taste of senior football over the course of two loan spells with Plymouth Argyle in the last couple of years.
“I have been on loan for the last two seasons and now I have got a permanent move which I think I will enjoy,” Gray told Preston’s official website. “They have always been a solid Championship side for as long as I can remember. There are great traditions and it is a big club.”
Darren Ferguson was delighted to have got his man:
“We have being doing the deal for a while, we have been negotiating but we have done a deal with United and he’s a really good signing, I’m pleased to get him in. He’s quick, he’s a good age, he’s got loads of potential and he’s good competition with Billy Jones for right-back.
“They offered him a new contract at United, so that’s how much they rate him. The lad wanted a fresh start, he wanted to start playing first team football so were pleased to jump on that and it was done pretty quickly.
“He’s got a good pedigree, he has been brought up at a fantastic club like United, he comes highly recommended, they think highly of him. He’s got good character, good attitude, he came in and trained really well and fitted in straight away.”
With Gray being under 24 years of age and having been offered a new deal by the Reds, compensation would typically be due to United, and Ferguson Jr’s comments suggest the two clubs have managed to agree on a fee and avoid having to go to tribunal. The young Scot – who moved to Old Trafford from hometown club Hearts in 2004 and made 56 reserve appearances and 39 for the academy over the course of his six years in Manchester – will link up with a former United team-mate at Deepdale, with midfielder Matt James having joined the Lilywhites on a season-long loan deal a fortnight ago.
Best of luck to David in his future career.