Offer for Inter

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The Independent Online
Internazionale, the Italian Serie A club who have expressed an interest in signing Eric Cantona from Manchester United, yesterday became the subject of a takeover bid by Massimo Moratti, whose late father was president of Inter in the 1960s when they won the European Cup twice in a row. Moratti, whose family has interests in the oil business, and Ernesto Pellegrini, the club president, issued a joint statement confirming they were in negotiations.

"It is the intention of Ernesto Pellegrini to evaluate the possibility of selling his majority stake in Internazionale, providing that it is in the interests of the club in sporting and financial terms," it said.

Pellegrini, who made his money in the catering business, took over in 1984. The club won its 13th league title in 1989 but have been outshone by their city rivals, Milan, in recent years.

Inter are having another poor season, stuck in mid-table and knocked out of the Italian and Uefa Cups. Fans have recently turned on Pellegrini, blaming him for the team's failings on the pitch. The president is seeking 70 billion lire (£28m) for his stake, while Moratti values it at only 40 billion lire.

Roberto Baggio, the Italian international striker, underwent exploratory arthroscopic surgery on his right knee yesterday to determine why he is still unable to play two months after being injured.

Baggio's club, Juventus, said the "keyhole" operation confirmed earlier tests which attributed the pain to unhealed scars from a previous operation.

"The pain which the player feels in certain movements is due to an incomplete healing of the external scar on the back of his right knee," the Turin club said in a statement. They did not say when the scar was expected to heal or when Baggio could play again.

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