Press Watch: United turn attention to Patrick Kluivert
Arsenal's debts may force out Dennis Bergkamp
Monday 05 May 2003
Whether David Beckham stays or goes, Manchester United remain the strongest tip to lead the way in close-season spending. While Arsenal look to tighten their belts, United have their sights on a double-Dutch forward line of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Patrick Kluivert, according to the Sunday Mirror.
The Mirror says they can capture Kluivert for as little as £7m from Barcelona, especially if United take Marc Overmars as well for a further £5m. Kluivert is Sir Alex Ferguson's main target, the paper says, although he is still said to be willing to pay Paris St-Germain's asking price of £20m for Ronaldinho and offer Van Nistelrooy a new contract worth £80,000-a-week.
According to the News of the World, Van Nistelrooy has heard of Kluivert's impending arrival, and put the price at £17m. It also reports that United have agreed a £4.9m fee with Juventus for the Brazilian defender Athirson, currently on loan with Flamengo, but may face work-permit problems. The Beckham-for-Real Madrid rumours have cooled, but the Mail on Sunday is tipping United to do business with the Spaniards over their midfielder Claude Makalele.
Arsenal, meanwhile, are so concerned about their debts, put at £43m, that they may tell Dennis Bergkamp he can leave, according to the Mail on Sunday, while the News of the World says they have had to drop their interest in PSV Eindhoven's Kevin Hofland because he is too expensive. It also names Parma's French goalkeeper, Sebastien Frey, as the new target to replace David Seaman.
The Mirror says Tottenham are planning swoops for Aston Villa's Gareth Barry and Charlton's Scott Parker, although the latter would not be sold, apparently, for less than £5m. The News of the World predicts a Spurs move for the Montpellier striker, Fodé Mansare, while the Mail links them with Ajax's Tunisian right-back, Hatem Trabelsi, as a replacement for Arsenal target Stephen Carr.
The News of the World suggests Middlesbrough are ready to sell Massimo Maccarone to Roma for £7m to finance a new bid for Sunderland's Kevin Phillips and reckons Gareth Southgate could move to Newcastle. Liverpool want the Auxerre striker Djibril Cissé and the defender Jean-Alain Boumsong, according to the Mirror, while the People reckons Aston Villa are setting their sights on Alan Curbishley as manager with Graham Taylor accepting a back-seat role.
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