United pour cold water on talk of £62.5m bid for Ribéry

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The Independent Football

Manchester United have distanced themselves from reports of a £62.5m bid for Bayern Munich's France international Franck Ribéry.

Reports yesterday morning had claimed an approach has been received from United for Ribéry, who looks certain to leave the Allianz Arena this summer after a disappointing campaign at Bayern which included a Champions League hammering by Barcelona and the dismissal of coach Jürgen Klinsmann last month.

Ribéry cannot see the situation improving and has indicated if Bayern fail to qualify for next season's Champions League he would go, and may leave anyway. It was thought the 26-year-old would be heading to Italy or Spain. However, Sir Alex Ferguson, the United manager, knows Ribéry would be a perfect replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo should the World Player of the Year quit Old Trafford for Real Madrid this summer.

Given the consistent nature of Ferguson's reaction to such a prospect, at one point last year declaring, "I would not sell them [Madrid] a virus", it is hardly a surprise that United's response to the latest Ribéry reports were to dismiss them as not worthy of comment.