UNITED STILL IN FOR BALE
Manchester United are ready to fight tooth and nail to land Southampton's Gareth Bale by matching Tottenham's £10m bid for the teenage sensation.
The south coast club have accepted the mammoth offer from Spurs for Bale, who spent Tuesday and Wednesday discussing a move to White Hart Lane with manager Martin Jol.
But United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is desperate to land the 17-year-old full-back, whose free-kick ability has been likened to that of David Beckham, and like Spurs is prepared to let him remain on loan at St Mary's for the remainder of the season for Southampton's promotion push.
However, Jol's trump card is the promise of regular action next season. Although Gabriel Heinze is expected to be shipped out should Bale plump for United, he would still face a battle with Patrice Evra for the left-back berth at Old Trafford.
United's determination not to let Bale slip through their clutches would appear to make it a straight fight between themselves and Spurs, despite reported interest from Arsenal emerging yesterday.