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banner Tuesday, 15 May, 2001, 11:21 GMT 12:21 UK
Man Utd chasing Ghana teenager
ghana under-17s
Muntari (standing, far right) lines up with Ghana's under-17 side at the Meridian Cup
Manchester United are close to signing 16-year-old Ghanaian Sulley Ali Muntari for at least 1m after he spent last week on trial at Old Trafford.

The youngster impressed United officials who seem ready to conclude a deal with Liberty Professionals before Muntari plays in the World Youth Championships in Argentina next month, in front of a pack of scouts.

Any deal is likely to be based on appearances, but is still set to be one of the biggest for a player bought straight from an African club.

An exceptional left-footed player considered to be very much in the style of Ryan Giggs, Muntari is at his best attacking down the left flank and can also play as a wing-back.

Quick off the mark

He has attracted interest from a stack of European clubs, especially from Italy and Holland, but United were quickest off the mark in inviting Muntari for a trial.

Muntari was moved up to Under-20 level after impressing for Ghana Under-17s at the Meridian Cup tournament in Italy played just before the Under-17 Cup of Nations.

He was considered one of the stars of the Under-20 Cup of Nations in Ethiopia, in which Ghana reached the final before surprisingly losing to Angola.

Not 17 until 27 August, Muntari could link up with another African at United, Quinton Fortune.

The South African midfielder has started two of United's last three games as he makes his way back from injury.

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