Sir Alex considers big moves in the January transfer window.
Marseille have insisted that they intend to keep winger Hatem Ben Arfa – reportedly wanted by Manchester United, Arsenal and Real Madrid – at the Stade Velodrome, and have slapped a €45 million price tag on his head.
The French international caught the eye of both Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger during his time at Lyon – where he scored seven league goals in 64 appearances.
However, he opted to remain in Ligue 1 rather than move to the Premier League, signing for Marseille in 2008.
And although Ben Arfa has netted a further six goals in 46 league outings, he has found first-team opportunities harder to come by in 2009/10 following a heated argument with coach Didier Deschamps – having previously been fined for missing a training session.
As a result, the 22-year-old has been linked with an escape from French shores during the January transfer window, with United, Arsenal and Real Madrid all believed to be tracking the highly-rated flanker.
But Marseille president Jean-Claude Dassier has revealed that he expects Ben Arfa to stay put for the time being, although he admitted he would be prepared to listen to offers that match his valuation of the player.
“There is a 95 percent chance of him staying at the club,” Dassier told France Football.
“I never thought he would leave and he was never very enthusiastic about leaving either.
“We have received no offers, but it is true that if a club like Manchester United or Real Madrid offered €45 million then we would have to think twice. (Four Four Two)
Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney could soon be the subject of bids from Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona, according to a report from The Sun.
Financial figures released yesterday showed that United would have made a loss last year without the £80 million that they received from Real for the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo.
As speculation grows that there is further financial woe ahead at Old Trafford, The Sun claims that selling Rooney might well be the only way for the Red Devils to ease the impending problems.
The two Spanish clubs are reported as already considering bids of around £70m for the 24-year-old England regular. (Goal.com)
It seems the speculation surrounding the future of Marseille’s talented attacker Hatem Ben Arfa is getting hotter by the day and Sir Alex is continually linked with a move to bring the young Frenchman to Old Trafford. Manchester United may well be keen to add some more creativity to their wide positions especially with the likes of Nani failing to deliver and with Ryan Giggs not getting any younger.
22 year old Ben Arfa would fit in well at Manchester United but it seems unlikely that Ferguson would blow £45m of the clubs budget on a player who is yet to have performed in one of the big four leagues and it is often hard to judge a players worth if that player has only played in the frankly average French league. That said Hatem could be the type of fleet footed player who could thrive in the Premier League so the Manchester United boss may consider haggling with the Ligue 1 side about a possible deal as Marseille appear to be saying they would take money for their prized asset.
As for Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona making £70m bids for Wayne Rooney, well I think they may as well just put their chequebooks away. I don’t see the England international leaving Old Trafford any time soon and Ferguson wouldn’t consider offers for a player of such importance regardless of how much is offered.