Premier League - Papers: United target Ribery

Eurosport - Sun, 28 Mar 10:12:00 2010

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is set to meet Bayern Munich officials to discuss a 40 million move for Franck Ribery when they play in Europe this week.

Fiorentina's De Silvestri challenges Bayern Munich's Ribery during their Champions League last 16, second leg soccer match at San Siro stadium in Milan - 0

German wing star Ribery would be the perfect replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, who United still miss no matter how many goals Wayne Rooney bangs - or heads - in.

Real Madrid and Barcelona have long coveted the former Marseille man, who surprised many when he opted to sign for the Bavarians in 2007, while Arsenal also had a bid rejected following the 2006 World Cup.

While Bayern have sometimes faltered, Ribery's stock has steadily risen, and the 40m price tag mooted by the Sunday Express could even be considered a bargain.

The Daily Star Sunday has reason to believe that Internazionale boss Jose Mourinho is set to snub Manchester City, whose patience is already growing thin with his predecessor at the Giuseppe Meazza Roberto Mancini.

They reckon Jose has his sights on the Old Trafford hot seat once Fergie retires. The Portuguese also said recently that he wanted to return to England one day to manage.

United midfield enforcer Darren Fletcher is negotiating a new contract worth 80,000 a week, say the News of the World.

The shenanigans continue down at West Ham, with the NOTW reporting that Glenn Hoddle and Graeme Souness have both rejected the chance to take over from the under-fire Gianfranco Zola; the Star has it that former Upton Park playing hero Slaven Bilic has also turned his nose up at the job.

The Mail on Sunday has another titbit of guff relating to this already-wearing saga: Birmingham manager Alex McLeish is being lined up for the role.

So what of the transfer news? According to the NOTW, Thierry Henry's season at Barcelona has been so bad - he was left out last night with several youngsters more trusted to claim a narrow 1-0 win in Mallorca - that he is to join Major League Soccer franchise New York Red Bulls this summer.

Okay, so maybe Pep Guardiola was resting him for the Champions League clash with former club Arsenal.

The Gunners, like Manchester City, are sniffing around 11m-rated Hamburg defender Jerome Boateng, according to the Sunday Mirror; the NOTW claim they also have first option on West Ham's England striker Carlton Cole, while also eyeing Japanese frontman Takayuki Morimoto of Catania. Cripes.

In the same paper, Getafe midfielder Pedro Leon is being chased by Manchester City, Tottenham and Stoke, while Chelsea and Spurs are fighting it out for 17-year-old Nigerian striker Sani Emmanuel.

Birmingham may move for striker John Carew of bitter rivals Aston Villa, whose contract talks have hit a snag, while boyhood fan Gabriel Agbonlahor is set to be handed a massive new contract by the Villans. (Mirror)

Sunderland still want Tottenham wide man David Bentley, but also fancy their on-loan-at-Portsmouth-midfielder Jamie O'Hara. They would cost 10m. (NOTW)

In more bad news for Pompey, former chief executive Peter Storrie - still at the club as a highly-paid consultant - has been contacted by police regarding the paying-off of Eyal Berkovic in 2005. (NOTW)

And one for the old skool: The Independent reports how Bradford Park Avenue could soon return to the Football League 40 years after they were voted out.

Jonathan Symcox / Eurosport

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