Barthez to be warned for making gesture

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The Independent Football

Fabien Barthez will receive a written warning from the Football Association after he gestured to Arsenal fans during Manchester United's defeat at Highbury last month.

Barthez, whose two mistakes in the game gifted Arsenal a 3-1 win, gesticulated behind his back to some of the home supporters. The FA feels Barthez's actions did not warrant a charge or a fine, but have sent a letter to the goalkeeper warning him about his future behaviour.

United are facing a price hike on the head of the defender they want to sign, Fabricio Coloccini, but they still want their man. The United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is pursuing the highly rated young Argentinian, along with Real Madrid, who also want him.

The centre-half is on loan to another Spanish side, Alaves, who have an option to buy him from Milan, and are now looking to sign him permanently for £8m. Alaves then plan to sell him to United or Real for a quick profit, pushing the price up to around £11m for the 19-year-old.

Technically Coloccini is an Alaves player for the whole season and they can decide his destiny. The word from the club is that they will buy him soon – and then trade him off. United have agents working hard on the deal on their behalf, but Real Madrid may still have the upper hand.

United are to loan Bojan Djordjic to Sheffield Wednesday to sharpen him up for the first team. The Swedish Under-21 international left-winger has been knocking on the first-team door but Ferguson wants him to gain experience at First Division level.

The agent for the Benfica goalkeeper Robert Enke, who will be out of contract in the summer, has denied re-opening negotiations with United over the possible transfer of the German.

Enke, a former Under-21 international, turned down the opportunity to move to England in the summer because he did not want to play second fiddle to Fabien Barthez. Recent reports had claimed that the former Borussia Mönchengladbach keeper was confident of displacing Barthez because of the Frenchman's erratic form.

But Enke's agent, Jörg Neblung, said: "The last conversation we had with manager Alex Ferguson and chief executive Peter Kenyon was last summer regarding the player's transfer. There has been no further contact with Manchester United to the player, or to me."