Manchester United defender Gary Neville has signed a one-year contract extension with the defending Premier League champions.

The 35-year-old Neville, who has been with United for 18 seasons, missed almost two seasons with muscular problems. But he has been a key member of this season’s squad as United tries to win a fourth straight league title.

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson says Neville’s “contribution has been fantastic. ... What Gary has achieved after being out of the game for 18 months, in his 30s, is astonishing.”

United is in second place in the league, one point behind Chelsea with two games remaining.

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