Press Watch: Manchester United to strengthen attack with Viduka loan signing and £8m capture of Fulham's Saha
Monday 08 December 2003
Manchester United, who famously signed Eric Cantona from Leeds United 11 years ago, are ready to make another cut-price offer for one of their stricken rivals' stars - the striker Mark Viduka. And the Sunday Express believes that Sir Alex Ferguson, who paid £1.2m for Cantona, can sign Viduka for nothing.
The paper claims Ferguson had been prepared to pay £5m for the Australian during the transfer window in January, but now thinks Leeds, struggling to survive with debts of£80m, will let the unsettled player leave on loan, provided Manchester United pick up his £65,000-a-week wages.
The Sunday People also believes Ferguson intends to sign a striker in January, but its intelligence has not turned up Viduka's name as a target. Instead, according to its report, Ferguson hopes to sign either Fulham's Louis Saha or West Ham United's Jermain Defoe. Of the two, it claims Saha is the more appealing at £8m after West Ham insisted that they would not accept less than £12m for Defoe.
The Sunday Express says Leeds are also drawing attention from Newcastle United, who are reported to be planning to make a £3mmove for the striker Alan Smith. The same paper says Newcastle could lose out to Arsenal in their attempt to sign the Republic of Ireland full-back Stephen Carr from Tottenham Hotspur, suggesting that the Gunners might be able to persuade Carr to see out his contract at White Hart Lane and then move to Highbury on a free transfer next summer.
More gloom for Leeds is forecast by the Sunday Mirror, which reports that Birmingham City are ready to step in for Jermaine Pennant, who scored Leeds' goal against Chelsea on Saturtday, if the Elland Road club cannot afford to turn the Arsenal winger's successful loan move into a permanent deal.
The Sunday Mirror also says that Manchester City plan to spend £8m on the Manchester United midfielder Nicky Butt and Bolton Wanderers' Finnish goalkeeper, Jussi Jaaskelainen. However, it quotes the City chairman, John Wardle, as insisting that the striker Nicolas Anelka, reported last week to be attracting the interest of United, is not about to be sold.
Middlesbrough's need to sign a new striker has raised Brazilian Rivaldo as a possible target after he was released by Milan following his unsuccessful spell in Italy. The News of the World believes that the 31-year-old, who is also said to be interesting Espanyol, could be one of two new forwards at the Riverside. The paper claims that Boro have already had a bid for Chelsea's Eidur Gudjohnsen turned down and that the club are also interested in the Leeds pair Mark Viduka and Alan Smith.
After being told by Wolverhampton Wanderers that he will not be offered a deal, Paul Gascoigne could turn to Bradford City, according to the News of the World, which says that the new City manager, Bryan Robson, sees Gazza as the man to put bums on seats at Valley Parade.
The Sunday Mirror says Portsmouth are set to complete the signing of the former Romanian World Cup player Adrian Ilie on a free transfer and it also believes Manchester United and Liverpool have joined the clubs interested in the Huddersfield prospect Jonathan Stead.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre