Milan warn Ferguson against move for Vogel

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The Independent Football

By PA Sport

The general manager of the Serie A high-flyers Milan, Ariedo Braida, has claimed that Manchester United have tried to sign their midfielder Johann Vogel.

A series of injuries has left United's manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, short of options in midfield. With Paul Scholes out for the season with eye trouble, John O'Shea missing for six weeks with fractured ribs and Ryan Giggs facing 10 days on the sidelines after picking up a slight hamstring strain in last Wednesday's win over Blackburn Rovers, Ferguson launched a Europe-wide hunt for reinforcements.

The United manager is so short of central midfielders that he used his central defender Rio Ferdinand in the middle of the pitch against Wolverhampton Wanderers yesterday in the FA Cup fourth-round victory at Molineux. Ferdinand impressed but is purely a makeshift midfielder.

Milan claim the Swiss 28-year-old Vogel, who has 78 caps, was a target but the Italian club do not want to sell. "It is true United want to take him in the winter transfer window but we are not planning to sell at this time," Braida said.

"We have an excellent relationship with Sir Alex and the United board, but we told them we want to keep Vogel for now."