Decision day is approaching for Rio Ferdinand as he mulls over whether to stay at Leeds or join Manchester United.
Yesterday Ferdinand was talking his options over with his family in London after meeting the new Leeds manager Terry Venables on Sunday morning.
The England defender's latest pronouncement was that he would take a day or two before giving Leeds his decision. In a positive signal for Venables and Leeds, Ferdinand said it was not unlikely that he would report back to the club on Thursday to begin pre-season training.
Venables gave Ferdinand the hard sell at their breakfast meeting and tried to convince him that Leeds can satisfy his hunger for silverware. However, as well as telling the 23-year-old how much he wanted him to stay at Elland Road, Venables told Ferdinand if he wants to leave Leeds then he will have to make the first move and ask for a transfer.
That would probably trigger an official bid from Old Trafford, and, although Leeds have said they do want not to sell Ferdinand, if they were forced to they would want in excess of £30m. There is also the small matter of the loyalty bonus he would forego if he handed in a transfer request, which could be worth over £1m.
Lee Bowyer took another step towards becoming a Liverpool player when he arrived at the Reds' Melwood training ground yesterday to discuss personal terms and undergo a medical. Liverpool and Leeds agreed a fee for Bowyer last week, believed to be £9m.
Juninho was last night mulling over a fresh offer to return to the Premiership after Middlesbrough stepped up their bid for his signature.
The Brazilian's father, who acts as his agent, returned to São Paulo at the weekend having failed to agree terms with Boro. But the Teessiders have presented the 29-year-old Atletico Madrid midfielder with a new, improved offer.
The Middlesbrough manager, Steve McClaren, has been offered the chance to see Paris St-Germain's Edouard Cissé in action before deciding on a £2.5m deal. The midfielder has already met Boro officials and is prepared to undergo a two-day trial despite interest from rival Premiership managers willing to buy immediately.
"This is the move I want, I feel Middlesbrough is right for me," Cissé said last night. "I want to play for Mr McClaren."
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