International News – July 17th, 2006

ruud-van-nistelrooy

England
Fergie tries to sign Vieira for the THIRD time – David Mcdonnell, Daily Mirror

MANCHESTER UNITED are ready to lodge an £8million bid with Juventus to make it third time lucky in luring Patrick Vieira to Old Trafford.

The proposed deal between United and Juventus was described at the weekend in Italy as “very much a live situation”.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is determined to take advantage of Juventus’s relegation in the wake of the Italian match fixing scandal by capturing Vieira. He twice failed to sign Vieira when the towering midfielder was at Arsenal, and said after the last time he had “been down that road too many times before.”

But the United boss, on the club’s pre-season tour of South Africa, is confident of making it third time lucky in landing the 30-year-old in a cut-price deal.

Vieira is one of a galaxy of Juvent us star s who have become available following the club’s relegation to Serie B, and United are in pole position to sign the France international.

His agent is understood to have held talks with United over a potential move and the player is said to be keen on a move back to the Premiership after just one year in Italy.

And the French star kept his house in London in spite of being sold by Arsenal.

Fergie had hoped to land Tottenham’s Michael Carrick for around £12m, but that deal is likely to fall through if he can persuade Vieira to move.

The imminent £13m sale of striker Ruud van Nistelrooy to Real Madrid would make Vieira’s sensational move to United even likelier.

Van Nistelrooy and Vieira are sworn enemies after a series of bust-ups in the Premiership. But the departure of the Dutchman after five years at United would pave the way for the Frenchman to join United.

Only last summer Fergie admitted he would have made a move for Vieira had he known the midfielder had been put up for sale by Gunners boss Arsene Wenger.

And the United boss said he had “been down that road too many times before” with Vieira, who had in the past expressed a desire to join United only to renege at the last minute.

But his rejuvenated displays in helping France to reach the World Cup Final convinced Fergie of his enduring class.

United face competition from Inter Milan, Roma and Valencia, while Fergie is still hopeful of landing £20m-rated Atletico Madrid striker Fernando Torres, with Tottenham’s Jermain Defoe second choice.

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