Ferguson revives interest in bringing Figo to Old Trafford

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Manchester United are weighing up a move for Real Madrid's Luis Figo. The 32-year-old midfielder is available on a free transfer and United figure prominently on a list of clubs who have made initial inquiries.

Manchester United are weighing up a move for Real Madrid's Luis Figo. The 32-year-old midfielder is available on a free transfer and United figure prominently on a list of clubs who have made initial inquiries.

However, it appears more likely that the Portuguese international, who has one year left at Real but has been told he can move, will join Internazionale. Massimo Moratti, the Inter president, has strongly indicated that he wants Figo and has made the early running.

Inquiries have also been made by Middlesbrough and the Qatari club Al-Rayyan, while Liverpool have rebuffed approaches from Figo's representatives. It is thought that Figo is asking for €5m a year (£3.5m) which equates to £67,000 a week. If he did move to Old Trafford it would come five years after Sir Alex Ferguson tried to sign him from Barcelona.

Leaving Inter, meanwhile, will be Emre Belozoglu who has agreed to join Newcastle. A £4m fee has been settled on for the 24-year-old Turkish midfielder. Newcastle are believed to have come closest to meeting Emre's £60,000-a-week wage demands, outbidding several other Premiership clubs. An announcement will be made next week, with Newcastle then turning their attention to central defence. First choice is Hamburg's Daniel van Buyten, who would cost £5m, followed by Manchester City's Sylvain Distin. Craig Bellamy could be used as bait for the latter.

Although Emre is leaving, Inter have this week reached a "gentleman's agreement" with Adriano which will mean that the Brazilian striker will stay with the club for one more season - before leaving next summer. Despite discussions with Chelsea - whose interest has cooled - it is thought that Adriano will join Real Madrid.

Chelsea are, in turn, edging towards their first signings - although they remain determined not to pay over the odds. Talks are ongoing to land either Milan's Kakha Kaladze or Athletic Bilbao's Asier del Horno to be first-choice left-back. Both clubs will have to lower their asking price, however. It is possible that Chelsea will sign both, as well as the Lyon midfielder Michael Essien. An initial offer for the Ghanaian has been rejected but he will hold further talks with his club.

Tottenham yesterday reached agreement with Crystal Palace for winger Wayne Routledge. Spurs had offered £1.2m for the 20-year-old, who has signed a four-year contract, while Palace had hoped to receive £2.5m. It is thought the clubs have compromised at around £2m - dependent on appearances - the fee Spurs offered in January.

Stuttgart have repeated their demand that Arsenal must pay £8m for the midfielder Aliaksandr Hleb. A deal is expected next week. West Ham have had a £1m offer for Watford's striker Heidar Helguson rejected.

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