Last updated : 24 June 2004 By editor

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The Spanish club has launched an audacious on United's doorstep.

Some of its leading coaches will set up camp at Manchester Grammar School for two weeks next month to teach youngsters.

The courses, which run from one day to a week and cost between £29 and £449, are billed as a "skills class" for Manchester boys and girls.

The trip has been masterminded by FIFA-licensed British company The International Academy, which also works with AC Milan, Valencia, PSV Eindhoven, Celtic and PSG.

Academy chief executive Alun Williams said: "We have had kids going over to train with Real Madrid for a few years, but this is the first time they will have been in the UK. The emphasis is on fun so the kids can learn football skills and also have a cultural experience although it is a great opportunity for a talented kid to catch the coaches' eye."

The coaching roadshow will also take in Glasgow, Cardiff and London.

Nick Towle, of Shareholders United, said: "It's a bit of a cheeky move for Madrid to come over to the city of one of their biggest rivals, but all is fair in love and war, as they say.

"Considering we go all over the world and are meant to be interested in a youngster from Barcelona, it's understandable that a big club like Madrid want to cast their net as wide as possible.

"Fans always like to see youngsters making it from the youth academy, that's what Manchester is all about and we've had a good crop.

"You would expect that all the kids in Manchester that are any good have already been looked at before Madrid get here."