Red Devils join van Buyten race?

Last updated : 15 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Sir Alex Ferguson was apparently in the stands as van Buyten helped his team climb to the top of the French league with a 2-0 win over Rennes on Tuesday.

Press reports suggest he was joined at the game by Sir Bobby and Freddy Shepherd, and Arsenal scouts.

Marseille coach Alain Perrin is keen to hang on to the defender as his team bid to win their first title for a decade, and with van Buyten’s defensive partner being Frank Leboeuf you can understand why!

"I don't want to break the coherence of my team. I cannot let him (Van Buyten) go," said Perrin.

"But discussions can be carried on at the end of the season."

What most of the reports omit though, was that also playing was long time Manchester United target Julien Escude.

Elsewhere Schalke’s Polish international defender Tomasz Hajto has claimed that he knows nothing about Newcastle’s reported interest and Leeds have stated that Jonathan Woodgate (along with Alan Smith and Harry Kewell) is not for sale at any price.