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Tuesday, 11 February, 2003, 23:08 GMT
Sunderland reignite Bellion row
David Bellion
Bellion has only scored one goal for Sunderland
Sunderland chairman Bob Murray has accused Manchester United of making a last-gasp bid to buy David Bellion "on the cheap".

Murray revealed that the club had recently turned down two offers for the highly-rated French forward - one from Old Trafford and one from Liverpool.

The lad is most likely to go to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer

Bob Murray

The Black Cats chairman last week criticised Manchester United for unsettling Bellion with an illegal approach and rejected a bid believed to be in the region of 1m.

Murray said: "Manchester United have tried again to get David on the cheap. We have been trodden on and that's all I need at this time.

"Liverpool also came in for him on Monday, but the lad is most likely to go to Paris Saint-Germain in the summer.

"Bellion came to us as an amateur 18 months ago and the agent involved was paid 200,000 and that's not bad. We made him a three-and-a half-year offer last October and I feel we are being used."

Bellion was missing from training last week, visiting his sick mother, but has since returned to the North East and played 25 minutes for the reserves at Blackburn on Thursday.

Manchester United have already strongly rejected Sunderland's claims of foul play, insisting that they "played no part in making the player feel disaffected".

A club statement read: "We formally contacted Sunderland in December on the basis that David Bellion was going to be out of contract this summer and with the intention of establishing whether we could reach agreement with the club on a deal for the end of the season.

"We have played no part in making the player feel disaffected with Sunderland and at no time have we made an illegal approach for him."

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