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United defender Jonathan Spector will join Blackburn Rovers on loan until the end of the season, Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed.

The 18-year-old had a run of three games at left-back in August, but has only forced his way into the side twice since; against Crystal Palace and Fenerbahce – both times from the bench.

However, Spector has made huge strides in his 16 months at Old Trafford, and it is perhaps only the consistency shown by new arrival Gabriel Heinze that has limited his first-team opportunities.

Ferguson believes a loan move to Ewood Park for the remainder of the campaign will make the American defender, from Arlington Heights, Illinois, mentally and physically stronger.

"We feel that Jonathan is the type that needs that challenge now," confirmed Fergie. "He is very close to first-team level. The challenge of going out on loan will test him and bring him on that bit further."

Meanwhile, fellow defender Paul McShane has joined Walsall on a month-long loan much to the delight of Saddlers' boss Paul Merson.

"I'm very pleased that Paul has agreed to join us," he said. "He is a strong, combative and enthusiastic player who can play in the centre of defence or at right-back.

"Manchester United think very highly of him and I've got no worries throwing him into the team."

Very good move for Spector. I think he'll be a first-teamer when he comes back.

Paul McShane is a bit further off the first-team, but he's a good, agressive centre-back and it will be interesting to see how he does.
 

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that's a good move, playing in defence for a struggling EPL club he is definitley being chucked in at the deep end.
 

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Kiwi Nelson and Spector will make their D better :thmbup:
 

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I thought Spector was a full back. To be honest, I haven't seen that much of him, so I can't really say if he'll strengthen the defence at all. But anyway, I don't see what harm it can do.
 

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He can play fullback if needed, but he is a central defender. Delighted that he was not sent at Antwerp but at the EPL at relegation strugglers.
Hopefully he does really well, and takes Mikael off the team as soon as possible.
 

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Great news! I really like Spec and want him to develop into a first-teamer as soon as possible. The kid has heaps of potential and will definatly benefit from this move. Hopefully next season he will play at left back while Heinze partners Rio in the centre. :thmbup:
 

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an ideal team for him to be shipped off to...can only be good for both clubs, and the player himself....
 

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Regarding loans

Manchester United have instructed Sao Paulo to release Brazilian starlet Rincon a year early - so he can join Sporting Lisbon next season.

The young defender has progressed better than expected over the past 12 months and is now the captain of Brazil's Under-17 side.

United signed Rincon, full name Carlos Eduardo Castro Lourenco, in 2003 and immediately agreed to loan him back for two years - before a move to Sporting.

The deal was struck as United brokered their partnership with Sao Paulo - similar to the one they already have with a host of clubs around the world including Sporting and Royal Antwerp.

United are now cancelling the last year of Rincon's stay at Sao Paulo, so he can begin next season at the Jose Alvalade.

Sporting have already been informed and they are understood to be more than happy to have a player who is now emerging as a real talent.

The 17-year-old was due to stay at Sporting for two years from 2006 - but now it looks as if he could have an extended stay in Portugal.

Rincon is contracted to United until 2010, after signing a five-year deal with an option for another two and the English giants hope he will be ready for Old Trafford after his stint at Sporting - which should finish in 2008.

United's Academy chief Les Kershaw confirmed that they had moved to get Rincon to Sporting early.

"It is best to give him the push in his career," Kershaw told Portuguese paper Record.

Kershaw revealed that the deal set up by United could be the first of many deals.

"He is the first of many young Brazilians who can be moved in this new partnership between the three clubs."

Meanwhile, young American striker Kenny Cooper is heading back to Old Trafford after an ill-fated loan move to Portuguese outfit Academica.

United are reportedly annoyed at the lack of first team action Cooper has been seeing.
 

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Good move for Spector, he should be able to get some time at Rovers
 
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