No van bid, but now Couto is linked

Last updated : 10 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Apparently his interest was scuppered before he could make a bid, with the French club just not interested in doing business.

"Because of the publicity which surrounded it Marseille have already come out and said he isn't available. We did not even have the opportunity to speak to the club or the player," said Sir Bobby.

"Marseille are going very well in the league and they have a chance to qualify for the Champions League so he is not for sale. The chairman of Marseille will take crazy money for him, but I do not have a crazy chairman here so that is that."

The latest defender to be linked is Lazio’s veteran Portuguese international Fernando Couto, who is believed to be available for £1.5million.