|feedback | low graphics version|
|You are in: Euro2000: Teams: France|
Wednesday, 31 May, 2000, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK
Barthez delays French return
Fabien Barthez has delayed his return to France's Euro 2000 squad in a bid to tie up a move to Manchester United.
The World Cup winner has extended two days of talks at Old Trafford after failing to agree personal terms.
But both parties remain confident that Barthez will link up with his French team-mates as a Manchester United player.
Old Trafford spokesman Ken Ramsden said: "The talks took longer than planned and Barthez got special permission from the French FA to stay on in Manchester for one more day.
The point is that we will be able to resume talks and by the end of the day he will be a Manchester United player, rather than flying home with the talks inconclusive.
"With Francve having more matches and Euro 2000 coming up, the whole thing could have dragged on," added Ramsden.
Barthez is needed back with the French squad for the June 4 game with Japan in Casablanca, with a second match in the African city planned two days later.
The transfer fee is estimated to be between £8m and £10m - a world record for a goalkeeper - and Barthez has reportedly agreed a six-year contract worth £45,000-a-week.
"Peter had a great presence and a wonderful personality which rubbed off on the rest of the team.
"Mark Bosnich and Raimond van der Gouw are both terrific goalkeepers - but neither have quite the personality which Schmeichel possessed.
"But Fabien has. He is a real character. He's bouncy and bubbly, just like Schmeichel was, and hopefully he is going to have a similar influence on the rest of the team."
When Schmeichel quit United last summer Ferguson almost captured the flamboyant Barthez then only for the deal to collapse.
Certainly on the way out is Italian Massimo Taibi, shipped back home on loan with Reggina after a catalogue of embarrassing mistakes following his £4.5m move from Venezia.
Ferguson had hoped to keep details of Barthez's transfer under wraps until the goalkeeper had completed his medical tests.
He was desperate to avoid a repeat of the embarrassment he suffered when Ruud van Nistelrooy's £18m move from PSV Eindhoven was called off after the striker failed his medical.
The United boss said: "Medicals these days are very thorough because of the amount of money involved.
"But there are no worries about Barthez's fitness, and I am confident we will be given the go-ahead by the doctors to complete the transfer."
|^^ Back to top|
|Front Page | Results/Fixtures | Group A | Group B | Group C | Group D | Knockout | Teams | Sportstalk | Fans' Guide | AudioVideo | Photo Gallery