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 Tuesday, 24 December, 2002, 08:17 GMT
Man Utd 'close on Cisse'
Auxerre striker Djibril Cisse
Cisse would boost Man Utd's striking options
Auxerre striker Djibril Cisse has fuelled speculation he is set for a move to Old Trafford by reportedly watching Manchester United's defeat to Blackburn.

The Daily Express newspaper claimed the highly-rated 21-year-old striker was invited to the game by compatriot Laurent Blanc.

The veteran French defender is believed to be using his influence to try to smooth the way for a deal with former club Auxerre and United.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been linked with Cisse in the past and the Old Trafford club are said to be monitoring him and team-mate Philippe Mexes.

Auxerre boss Guy Roux accepts Cisse will eventually move on, but any deal is unlikely to go through until the summer with the French team still in the Uefa Cup.

Ferguson is keen to strengthen his striking options when the transfer window reopens next week and is aware of Arsenal's and Liverpool's interest in Cisse.

Brazil star Ronaldinho, who is available at cash-strapped Paris St Germain and Sunderland youngster David Bellion are also possible targets.

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