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Tuesday, 28 August, 2001, 05:13 GMT 06:13 UK
Silvestre's fate uncertain
Silvestre has been caught out of position too many times for Ferguson's liking
Mikael Silvestre has not looked comfortable this season
Mikael Silvestre could follow Jaap Stam out of Old Trafford after Man Utd's poor start to the season, according to newspaper reports.

The French international is set to lose his place in United's first team after his performance in the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa.

Silvestre was singled out by United manager Alex Ferguson at half-time after his defensive lapse let in Darius Vassell for the game's opening goal after just four minutes.

Silvestre is under pressure from Phil Neville
Silvestre is set to lose his first-team place

He was then replaced by Phil Neville.

Faced with a misfiring defensive quartet, Ferguson has already demonstrated his ruthlessness by dispatching Stam to Lazio.

According to The Mirror newspaper, United want to renew their interest in Bayern Munich's Bixente Lizarazu.

If Ferguson lands the French left-back, the future would be bleak for Silvestre, especially now that the versatile Phil Neville seems to have edged ahead of him in the pecking order.

Ferguson is pursuing a host of top names in an effort to regain the defensive solidity upon which United's recent success has been built.

Top of his wish-list is 15m-rated Dutch star Kevin Hofland, currently at PSV Eindhoven and Valencia's Argentinian captain Fabien Ayala, valued at 22m.

Reports suggest that Ferguson may push the boat out and buy the pair.

The first of Ferguson's buys is believed to be French veteran defender Laurent Blanc.

The 35-year-old would be a quick-fix measure ahead of United's assault on the Champions League.

See also:

27 Aug 01 |  Man Utd
Blanc cools Man Utd talk
23 Aug 01 |  Football
Red faces at the back
19 Aug 01 |  Eng Prem
Ferguson's fears
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