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By ESPN Staff

Pique looking to his future at Old Trafford

Defender Gerard Pique is confident his patience will eventually be rewarded at Manchester United. The 20-year-old was loaned out to Real Zaragoza last season and could easily have joined them on a permanent basis had Red Devils manager Sir Alex Ferguson not rebuffed a substantial bid. Pique, also linked with Atletico Madrid just this week, enhanced his reputation with a first start - and only his second appearance - in the Champions League on Wednesday, and scored his maiden United goal in the 4-0 victory over Dynamo Kiev. Despite growing interest in the Barcelona academy product, Ferguson has stressed he wants to hang on to the centre-back. Pique himself is only too happy to stay at Old Trafford, looking on the loan spell in his homeland last season as just part of his learning curve. 'When I went on loan last year what I wanted was experience. It was good for me, and now I am am getting experience here - and I am happy,' said the Spain Under-21s international. 'You have to think `it is Manchester United. and they are one of the best teams in the world'. 'The players that are here have a lot of quality, and it is very difficult to break through. You have to be patient. 'I want to play more games, but the boss decides.' Ferguson has invested a lot of time in Pique since he arrived at Old Trafford as a teenager - and he is not prepared to let all that good work go to waste. 'I am not surprised people are saying they are interested in him,' said the United manager. 'Zaragoza tried to buy him in the summer. They offered a lot of money for him. But no. The boy's future is here. 'I have no fears for him. The course we have set is a good one, and there is absolutely no intention of letting him go.' Pique was relatively untroubled alongside Nemanja Vidic in a back four which also contained fellow 20-year-old Danny Simpson, also making his first Champions League start, and the established Patrice Evra. Playing with those experienced internationals undoubtedly helped the rookies settle in. 'They are great players, and when you play with them they give you the confidence to play your game,' said Pique. 'You know if you make a mistake you have them around you. 'It was a great feeling to score a goal in the first (Champions League) game you start and you help the team to win the game. 'We are now already qualified, and that is great for us. The last two games we can enjoy it - and try to be the first in the group.'