Manchester United signed Dutch defender Alexander Buttner from Vitesse in the Netherlands on Tuesday on a five-year contract.

Buttner, 23, made 119 appearances for Vitesse over the last four years. A left back, he was on the preliminary Netherlands team for Euro 2012, but failed to make the final roster. He has yet to earn a senior cap.

"Alexander is one of the best young left backs in Europe and we're delighted to sign him," United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said. "He's someone we've been watching for a while now. He gives us some really exciting options in that position."

Buttner passed a physical to complete his switch to United on Tuesday, as he follows fellow Dutchman Robin van Persie to Manchester. Van Persie transferred from Arsenal to United last week.

"Joining Manchester United is one of the best days of my life," Buttner said. "It's a team I have admired for many years now and I can't wait to join my teammates and play my part in helping the club be successful."