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Last Updated: Friday, 20 June, 2003, 03:31 GMT 04:31 UK
Beckham fee shocks Wenger
David Beckham
Beckham is handed a Real Madrid shirt in Tokyo
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes David Beckham was sold to Real Madrid at a bargain price because of a clash between the player and Sir Alex Ferguson.

The Frenchman claims Beckham's departure could signal the end of an era at Manchester United.

And Wenger admitted he was surprised by the decision to let the England captain leave for 25m.

"The personal problems between Beckham and Ferguson certainly lowered the fee," he said.

Wenger believes it is the end of af an era at Old Trafford but admits the Premiership champions have the funds to replace Beckham.

"One of the things that made Manchester great is going," said Wenger.

"And with the togetherness that that group of players had, and the things they had achieved, well, it is the beginning of a break-up for that group.

"For me, it was a surprise. But Manchester have the means to buy big.

"Even if Beckham had stayed they could have afforded to buy big, so with Beckham going, Manchester will lead the way in England now."

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