Man Utd news – Michel Bastos to join in Jan, Utd ‘keeper rumours – Special Report, Neville: City title contenders

Michel Bastos to join in Jan. reports that United are keen on Olympique Lyonnais wide man Michel Bastos. The 27-year-old Brazilian, who can play at left back or further up on the wing, would set United back at least the £16m Lyon paid Lille for his services in 2009.

Lyon have had a torrid start to the season and find themselves in the relegation places, with Ferguson apparently confident Bastos would seek a move to a more stable club. CaughtOffside claim Patrice Evra is interested in a move back to his native France, and Bastos would be able to fill his left-back berth while also providing cover on the wings while United’s medical team nurse Luis Antonio Valencia back to fitness from the dislocated ankle he suffered against Glasgow Rangers.

City title contenders.

Since Sheikh Mansour took over the “noisy neighbours” from the blue half of Manchester, United’s policy has seemingly been to patronise. But Gary Neville has broken ranks and finally admitted that Roberto Mancini’s expensively-assembled squad have to be taken seriously.

“There is no doubt that we have to see City as major challengers this season along with Chelsea,” wrote Neville in his regular column for the Sunday Times Of Malta. “At the moment, City and Chelsea are above us and the money that City have spent, and the quality and depth in both squads, means we have to see them both as rivals for the title.”

Utd ‘keeper rumours – Report.

Despite current United number 1 Edwin Van Der Sar moving last week to quash rumours – started by United’s goalkeeping coach – that the Dutch veteran was set to retire at the end of the season, rumours continue to gather pace concerning his replacement.

Juventus keeper Gianluigi Buffon, 32, has pulled the usual footballer’s trick of denying a rumour while leaving the door open for a potential move. “Manchester United are a great team, but as happened last year, they have never directly told me that they are interested in me, it’s only rumours,” he told Italian TV station Sky Sport 24. “We’re in October, it’s too soon to dive into what will happen in June, there is still a long time.”

Meanwhile the Daily Mail reports that United have had Danish keeper Anders Lindegaard watched twice in the past week, first in a Norwegian league game between Aalesunds FK and Stabaek, then again last Friday in Denmark’s 3-1 defeat away to Portugal. The Mail claims United will have to move quickly to secure his services, with scouts for Fulham, Liverpool and Tottenham also in attendance at Porto’s Estadio do Dragao.

However, Schalke 04’s Manuel Neuer appears to be United’s preferred option, with the 24-year-old German keeper telling The Mirror: “I want to be the world’s number one keeper and stay on top. These objectives can only be realised if I play in the Champions League.”

Like Lyon, Schalke have endured a miserable start to the season despite spending heavily in the summer on the likes of Raul and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, with Felix Magath’s side taking just four points from their first seven games, leaving them in the relegation zone. It is therefore understandable Neuer’s head could be turned by a potential move to Old Trafford. “If the season improves it is possible we could extend my contract,” he continued. “But the fact that Manchester United have been watching me for some time is an honour for me.”

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