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Wednesday, 21 August, 2002, 02:45 GMT 03:45 UK
Escude suffers freak injury
Julien Escude
Escude is likely to be out for three weeks
Man Utd's hopes of signing Rennes defender Julien Escude may be over after the player strained ligaments in his left knee while walking his dog.

He is expected to be out of action for three weeks, making a move to Old Trafford before the 31 August transfer deadline almost impossible.

"I was walking the dog and I slipped on the curb and hurt my left knee," said the defender.

"I've strained one of the ligaments in the knee - I'm having anti-inflammatory drugs to try and reduce the swelling but I think it will take about three weeks to recover."

Sir Alex Ferguson's hopes of signing the player had already been hampered by Rennes' desire to hold on to him.

The player had been training alone and hoped to take advantage of what he described as "an incredible opportunity".

He said: "A career in football is short and things are always going fast, that is why it is important to seize the opportunities when they come up.

"It is time for me to move on and reach another step in my career."

Rennes asked for around 5.1m for the player while the Premiership side were not willing to offer more than half that sum.

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