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Barry J. Leeming    Digest Prgram by  William McArthur  Canada
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The Devil's Advocate "REDitorial" commentary by Alex Paylor  "RED sky at night UNITED delight!"

Date: Sat Aug 01  GMT+05:00 1998
Mail: mufc@netlane.com

July 25  Birmingham City  (A)       result: L 3-4
     27  Valerengen (A) (Oslo)      result: D 2-2
     31  Brondby (A) (Copenhagen)   result: W 6-0
Aug   4  Brann Bergen (A)
      9  Charity Shield at Wembley
     18  Eric Cantona XI (H) - Munich testimonial
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United Cruise To Victory United easily overcame the Danish champions Brondby by 6-0 in Copenhagen. Teddy Sheringham opened the scoring in an impressive display, but it was debutant Jaap Staam who caught the eye with a top class performance. Staam was involved in the first goal when he laid the ball on for Sheringham to lift it over the keeper. Paul Scholes made it 2-0 four minutes before half time after good work from Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. David Beckham made his first telling contribution on 64 minutes with an interception which led to Andy Cole's first of the night. It was 4-0 when Sheringham finished from 18 yards and Cole followed suit with a double strike from six yards after a fine flowing move. The rout was complete in injury time with Giggs supplying a cross to the far post, whcih was met by Jordi Cruyff. © MLVG 98 Brøndby - Manchester United 0-6 (0-2) Teddy Sheringham (34. og 71. minut), Paul Scholes (41.), Andy Cole (65. og 84.) samt Jordi Cruyff (90.) scorede.
Check out our new REDitorial by Alex Paylor! url: http://www.red11.org/mufc/devilsadvocate/
United seek pay deal to land Kluivert BY MATT DICKINSON MANCHESTER United completed the easy part of their attempted signing of Patrick Kluivert yesterday when they agreed a £9 million fee with AC Milan. The hard part comes early next week, when they must persuade the Holland striker to forfeit at least £10,000 a week in wages and accept a maximum salary of £1.2 million. That will be United's first, and last, offer. It is the same wage that remains on the table for Dwight Yorke, the Aston Villa striker, who remains a target at Old Trafford, even if the Kluivert deal goes through. Indeed, the chances of the Yorke transfer are now, strangely, greater. United sources indicated yesterday that they believe the publicising of their interest in Kluivert, 22, may concentrate the minds of the Villa directors, who have, until now, been demanding an unrealistic £16 million for Yorke. The thought that they may now miss out completely on a deal that would involve a swap with Andy Cole and money may persuade Villa to reconsider. That strategy by United appeared to have been confirmed yesterday by Martin Edwards, the United chairman, who said that the offer for Kluivert had been accepted by Milan. "It doesn't mean our interest in Dwight Yorke has dropped, because it hasn't," Edwards said. "We can be a bit more relaxed about the Yorke situation now." The prospect of Yorke and Kluivert leading the United attack, particularly in the European Cup Champions' League, is an enthralling one, given that the FA Carling Premiership club has been struggling in vain to lure a striker to Old Trafford for more than a year. Most of the setbacks have related to their rigid pay scale and it will be a hurdle to the Kluivert transfer when talks with the player begin early next week after he returns from holiday in the Caribbean. Having moved to Milan from Ajax 12 months ago on a free transfer under the Bosman ruling, Kluivert is believed to earn at least £30,000 a week, with the Italian club making the arrangements for tax deductions. The highest-paid players at Old Trafford - Roy Keane, Peter Schmeichel, Ryan Giggs and Teddy Sheringham - are on a maximum of around £23,000 a week gross and the board of the plc remains fixed in its belief that it will not go higher. The pressures on United to drop that stance are immense. Marcel Desailly is taking home an annual salary of £1.8 million with Chelsea (more than £34,000 a week) and Liverpool offered the France defender an even more lucrative deal. United refuse to compete with those wages, but believe that their stature and recent record of success is a key factor in tempting players to join the club. They are also hoping that Milan's eagerness to remove Kluivert from their wage bill could ease negotiations. He was awarded a substantial signing-on fee when he joined, with the payments staggered over his contract. United are confident that Milan, who will be making a £9 million profit on a player that they signed for nothing, will pay a proportion of that money to facilitate the deal. If the transfer does go through, it will not be in time for the Champions' League qualifying match against LKS Lodz, of Poland, next month, as the deadline for eligible signings is today. Clubs have until August 20 to register players for the group stages of the competition. Alex Ferguson, the United manager, would not be drawn on the potential transfers yesterday. He is with his team on a tour of Denmark and Norway, but he had suggested previously that the club would not be pursuing Kluivert and appeared to be unwavering in his determination to sign Yorke. There have also been reservations voiced within Old Trafford about Kluivert's unsavoury past, which includes a spell of community service for his part in a fatal car crash. He was also sent off in Holland's first World Cup match against Belgium after an opponent taunted him about rape allegations that were dropped by Dutch police after preliminary inquiries. Christian Gross, the Tottenham Hotspur coach, yesterday MLVG
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Dutch ace would be just right for Dwight By Paul Hince ALEX FERGUSON is on the verge of purchasing one half of his ``dream ticket'' with the £9m signing of Dutch striker Patrick Kluivert. And the imminent arrival of Kluivert at Old Trafford will make the Manchester United manager even more determined to assemble a striking combination capable of taking the Premiership - and Europe - by storm this season. For the Reds boss is convinced that a partnership of Kluivert and Aston Villa's Dwight Yorke will give him a strike force which will not only terrify the rest of the Premiership but one with the power and the potency to launch a successful bid to bring the European Cup back to Old Trafford. Manchester United's fans will know after watching the World Cup finals why Ferguson has doggedly remained on Kluivert's trail for two long years. Even before he had heard the name Patrick Kluivert he knew that sooner or later, and preferably sooner, he would have to find a new target man to replace warhorse Mark Hughes whose magnificent career at Old Trafford was drawing to a close. In a pre-season tournament at Nottingham Forest's City Ground in the summer of 1995, Ferguson first laid eyes on the player he believed would prove an ideal replacement for Hughes - the raw teenaged Kluivert who was already holding down a regular first-team berth with Dutch giants Ajax. It was during the season which followed that Ferguson made his first attempt to sign the young Dutchman who was to display his pedigree on the international stage for Holland during Euro 96. Ajax were willing to let Kluivert join the Reds at the right price. But that move collapsed when the striker was banned from leaving Holland for 12 months as part of the sentence he received after being found guilty of a serious driving offence. By the time Kluivert had completed his sentence, United's need for a new striker appeared to have receded. Eric Cantona was scoring goals on a regular basis, Andy Cole was at last showing flashes of his old Newcastle United form and a fresh-faced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was already building his own army of admirers at Old Trafford. With that abundance of talent at his disposal, Ferguson decided he had no need to join in the chase when Ajax announced last summer that Kluivert was up for sale, with the Dutch star eventually deciding to take his chance in Italy's Serie A with a £5m move to AC Milan. But while Kluivert struggled to come to terms with his new life in Italy, it became more and more obvious as last season developed that the team assembled by Ferguson at Old Trafford was crying out for a player of his particular talents. The imminent signing of the powerful Kluivert, seen by many as an ``old-fashioned'' English-style centre forward, will more than fill the void left by the departure of Sparky Hughes. And even if Ferguson's spending spree ends at Kluivert, the Reds' attack for the new season already looks to have the perfect balance with a big target man operating alongside a razor-sharp predator, in either Cole or Solskjaer, to feed off the pieces. But Ferguson, clearly, has his heart set on teaming-up Kluivert with Dwight Yorke in what would surely be the most devastating striking partnership in British soccer, if not throughout Europe. It was former England manager Graham Taylor, then boss at Aston Villa, who first spotted Yorke playing for a local junior side in Tobago during Villa's Caribbean tour in the late 1980s. Taylor was smitten with the 16-year-old's amazing ball skills at first sight but had his work cut out to persuade the youngster that his future career lay in professional soccer. Yorke and his best pal Brian Lara had already represented the West Indies at cricket at U-15 level and both had sporting ambitions which stretched no further than to play for their country at senior level in a Lord's Test match. It was a rather reluctant Yorke who followed Taylor and the Villa squad back to England but it was a change of climate and a switch of sports which was to pay dividends which neither player or manager could have envisaged 10 years ago. For the talented West Indian who can keep the ball up in the air for hours on end as a party piece, is now arguably the most popular player in the history of Aston Villa. © MLVG 98
Check out our new REDitorial by Alex Paylor! url: http://www.red11.org/mufc/devilsadvocate/
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