Sir Alex Ferguson is angry that Manchester United plc's board is refusing to sanction an improved offer to Paris Saint-Germain for Ronaldinho.
United's manager and their chief executive, Peter Kenyon, wanted to press ahead with a proposed £22m package to secure agreement with PSG for the Brazilian midfielder. But the Manchester delegation were obliged to offer less money when they met representatives of the French club because the club's plc board is unwilling to sanction the higher offer.
This embarrassment, which stems from an unwillingness to spend almost all of the money that has come in from the sale of David Beckham, is not the first time Ferguson has run into fresh difficulties with the plc board blocking bids. The manager and the board fell out two seasons ago in similar circumstances before Ferguson got his way and signed Juan Sebastian Veron and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
The offer for Ronaldinho that Kenyon put together was up to £22m, made up of money up front and several instalments, but it was more than the £18m that the real United board sanctioned. It is purely a difference of opinion at Old Trafford but it has led PSG to interpret Kenyon's higher off
Meanwhile, Manchester City have reportedly agreed a £2.5m deal for the West Ham United winger Trevor Sinclair. Sinclair was scheduled to undergo a medical in Manchester late last night before completing his move to Maine Road. Middlesbrough had initially tabled a £2m bid.
The Ipswich goalkeeper, Matteo Sereni, is having a medical with the Italian Serie A side Lazio before completing a move. An undisclosed transfer fee has been agreed and the deal includes Lazio playing two friendlies against Ipswich, who would also take 50 per cent of the sell-on fee if Sereni leaves the Rome club.
Ipswich's manager, Joe Royle, said: "Matteo has made it clear that he didn't want to play for the club any more and saw his future back in Italy. The move has dragged on a bit and I'm glad the episode looks like it is coming to a close."
The 28-year-old arrived at Portman Road from Sampdoria in August 2001 and made 33 appearances for the club.
Ivan Campo's permanent transfer to Bolton Wanderers from Real Madrid can go ahead after a second medical cleared up a query about an old injury. The Spanish midfielder is joining on a three-year contract after settling for smaller wages than he was on last season when Real were also helping to foot the bill for his salary.
Craig Hignett, the Blackburn Rovers midfielder, is in talks with Leicester City's manager, Micky Adams, about becoming his ninth signing of a summer spree. Hignett has been cleared to leave Rovers and should complete the move today, either on a free transfer or a one-season loan.
The experienced campaigner rarely started for Blackburn last season but scored in the last game at Tottenham. Graeme Souness, Blackburn's manager, omitted Hignett from Rovers' pre-season trip to America so that he could find a new club.
Hignett will follow another Blackburn outcast, Keith Gillespie, to the Walkers Stadium.
Swansea City have taken the Manchester City goalkeeper Brian Murphy on a week's trial. The Republic of Ireland Under-20 international turned down Kevin Keegan's offer of a new contract at Manchester City, where he would have been behind David Seaman, Nicky Weaver and Carlo Nash in the pecking order.
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