Fergie fires back at French giants over top target Benzema


Last updated at 15:26 29 February 2008

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson today hit back at claims by the Lyon president that he is trying to unsettle French prodigy Karim Benzema.

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Ferguson is a huge admirer of 20-year-old Benzema and has him on his list of possible summer transfer targets.

But this afternoon the United manager denied accusations from Lyon chief Jean-Michel Aulas that he has over-stepped the mark.

Ferguson said: "When you are asked about a player, you give an honest opinion.

"We said Benzema was a good player, his team-mate Ben Arfa is a good player, Juninho's a good player and so on.

"I think the president is just being a bit mischievous.

"We've never said we've ever been interested in Benzema. I haven't said it yet and I don't say it either. He's 20 years old."

Nevertheless, Ferguson's interest in striker Benzema is real and it is known that the United boss has made his feelings clear to people at Lyon with whom he has a good relationship.

Benzema scored a good goal in United's 1-1 draw with Lyon at the Stade de Gerland 12 days ago and will be at Old Trafford with his team-mates for the return on Tuesday.

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