Manchester United close in on £50m Spanish transfer targets
Published 23:00 27/10/09 By By David McDonnell
Manchester United are closing in on a £40million double swoop for David Villa and David Silva after Valencia admitted they are prepared to sell.
Sir Alex Ferguson has been tracking the the Spanish pair for some time but no deal could be struck in the summer.
But as United continue to struggle in the absence of the departed Cristiano Ronaldo, Ferguson needs to find a world-class source of goals - and could be ready to splash a large chunk of the £80m he got from Real Madrid.
United are operating with just three established strikers in Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Michael Owen.
But they could soon have new team-mates as cash-strapped Valencia desperately need to raise money.
And club director Fernando Gomez told Spanish TV last night: "The club made a great effort to keep our players this summer but our economic situation remains very serious.
"It was a success to keep them, but there comes a point when you can't stand it anymore. We may have to sell Villa."
Fergie is keen to bring his quota of experienced forwards to four with Villa, 27, who shot to the top of the United manager's wanted list after Euro 2008, in which he finished top scorer.
And Villa's team-mate Silva, 23, is seen as the man to add some flair and dynamism to United's midfield, with veterans Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes nearing the end of their careers.
Although United were confident they could take advantage of Valencia's financial problems in the summer and land Villa and Silva on the cheap, they were ultimately thwarted in their double pursuit.
Fergie was critical of the inflated market in Europe last season and refused to pay over the odds for his targets, which included Karim Benzema, who went to Real Madrid for £35m.
But with Valencia now ready to do business and United still in possession of three-quarters of the Ronaldo money, a deal looks likely.
Fergie also has around £25m that was set aside by United to conclude a permanent deal to sign Carlos Tevez, which fell through when the striker decided to join Manchester City.