Gibson signs United extension

Manchester United have handed promising Republic of Ireland international Darron Gibson a three-year contract extension, keeping him at the club until 2012.

"I am very happy to commit my future to United," the 21-year-old told the club website, ahead of their arrival in Malaysia for a pre-season tour of Asia that also includes matches in Indonesia, South Korea and China. "Last season I enjoyed every opportunity and when I got my chance I wanted to prove what I could do. I hope to continue that this season."

Gibson, highly regarded by manager Sir Alex Ferguson, made 14 appearances last season, playing an integral part in United's Carling Cup triumph. He also scored three goals and Ferguson expects even more this season from the central midfielder, who will be pushing for a regular first team place.

"Darron was one of the young players who emerged last season as a United first team player," Ferguson said. "His appearance ratio did not really reflect the high regard in which we hold him, as he has constantly worked hard to challenge for a first team spot."