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FERGIE FACING FIGHT TO GET pounds 10m DWIGHT!; Atletico want Yorkey too.

Spanish giants Atletico Madrid are ready to wage a pounds 10m battle with Manchester United for the signature of Aston Villa striker Dwight Yorke.

Spanish club president Jesus Gill first inquired about Yorke - a scorer in Villa's 2-1 win over Derby yesterday - at the end of July

He was offered little encouragement and didn't follow up his interest with a firm cash offer.

Instead, Gill turned his attention to completing the pounds 12m signing of Juninho from Middlesbrough as part of a pounds 35m summer spending spree.

But a disappointing start to the League campaign and an inept midweek UEFA Cup display against unfancied Leicester has forced him to think again.

Gill knows Villa boss Brian Little will be reluctant to lose Yorke but is aware that the 24-year-old has failed to hit it off with pounds 7m new boy Stan Collymore. Ambitious Atletico had decided to test Villa's resolve before news of Alex Ferguson's interest in the player emerged.

Gill believes Villa will be forced, once an offer is made, to formally advise Yorke of the interest even though there are three years left on his contract.

Atletico would be prepared to more then double Yorke's pounds 8,000-a-week Premiership contract.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:McIntyre, Andy
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Sep 21, 1997
Words:202
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