Niemi on alert after talk of United move

Not surprisingly, Antti Niemi says he would revel in the chance to solve Manchester United's goalkeeping crisis.

With Roy Carroll and Tim Howard both having failed to impress this season many feel Sir Alex Ferguson will seek a new first-choice keeper in the summer, and the Finland international has impressed at Southampton since switching from Hearts in 2002. Although he says he is happy at St Mary's he admitted yesterday that he would welcome the chance to chase trophies with a leading club.

"I hope Saints don't have to sell me, but I would be lying if I said I wouldn't be ready to talk to Manchester United," the 32-year-old said. "If either United or Arsenal came in, I would want to talk to them."

Niemi, who has 50 Finland caps, joined Southampton from Hearts for £2m and the Saints manager, Harry Redknapp, sees retaining his services as vital to his side's hopes of winning their struggle against relegation.

Carroll has proved unreliable for United - as evidenced by last week's notorious goal-line incident against Tottenham at Old Trafford - and Howard has also failed to show the consistency required.

Niemi's current contract commits him to St Mary's until 2008, but he said: "Let's be honest, Manchester United and Arsenal are the clubs where you know you will win things."

The Finn said Sir Alex Ferguson had attempted to sign him when he was at Hearts. "Just after signing for Saints, I found out that Hearts had rung my agent telling me that Sir Alex wanted me up there to talk," he said. "He was even ready to lay on a plane. Had Mr Ferguson been two or three hours earlier with his phone call I'd have gone."

Another player to be linked with United over the weekend is Everton's Danish midfielder Thomas Gravesen. According to reports United made contact with his agent, the former United defender John Sivebaek, last week.

Gravesen is out of contract in the summer and United have said they will compete for his signature if he rejects a new deal and leaves Goodison for free at the end of the season.

They could be outmanoeuvred by Real Madrid, though, who are thought to be considering a £2m offer during this month's transfer window.

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Life and Style
Men with beards rejoice: Your beard probably doesn't harbour faeces-like bacteria
health
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before