Last updated : 05 January 2003 By Editor

From The People:

Sir Alex Ferguson's need for speed has taken him to Paris-born Bellion, even though he has scored just once in five starts this season - his appearances have been restricted by injury.

There is a five-year contract on the table with starting wages of £20,000 a week for Bellion, who has rejected Howard Wilkinson's plea to stay.

A fee of around £3m will see the deal completed as both clubs do not want to go to a transfer tribunal when Bellion's contract expires this summer. Because of Bellion's age, he would not be available on a free transfer.

United want him now, particularly as he would be available to play in Europe.

United's keen interest is known to have increased since the arrival of Ricky Sbragia - a coach who left Sunderland for Old Trafford recently.

United originally hoped they could get Bellion for around £1.5m but Sunderland will hold out for more. For a quick deal to be completed, United must raise the stakes.'

Regular readers of Red Issue will know that we reported United's interest in Bellion weeks ago. Expect the Ronaldhino rumour to resurface too.