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Football: INTER WANT GIGGS; Italian giants ready to step in with new bid to sign Old Trafford contract rebel in transfer window.

Byline: DAVID McDONNELL

INTER MILAN are ready to take advantage of the bitter contract dispute between Ryan Giggs and Manchester United with a pounds 5million bid for the Old Trafford winger.

Inter chiefs are planning to launch their audacious bid during the transfer window and are confident after two failed attempts. Although Giggs has 18 months left on his United contract, the Old Trafford board have rejected his demand for a new two-year deal and have offered him only a one-year extension.

United have refused to negotiate or compromise over the length of any new deal and Giggs's representatives have told the board their offer is unacceptable.

And with Inter president Giacinto Facchetti determined to sign Giggs after his superb recent form, it could spell an imminent end to his glittering 14-yearcareer with United. Giggs and his advisers are adamant they will accept nothing less than a two-year deal and the 31-year-old believes he deserves that much after his years of service and loyalty to United since signing in December 1990.

Although Bolton and Newcastle are also monitoring the ongoing saga, the Cardiff-born star has admitted he has always relished a move abroad - and Inter could prove an irresistible challenge.

And reports in Italy suggested Facchetti is ready to sound out United chief executive David Gill over whether United are willing to accept an offer for Giggs in this month's transfer window.

United are likely to reject any such approach, but now privately accept they may be forced into selling him in the summer if no compromise can be reached over a new deal.

Gill and the Old Trafford board know they cannot afford to let Giggs enter the final year of his contract with the prospect of him becoming a free agent in a matter of months.

And with a host of clubs ready to offer in the region of pounds 5m for a player who, despite his advancing years, is still excelling at the highest level, United could be forced to cash in on him now.

Although Giggs is out for around four weeks with a hamstring strain, that will not deter Inter, who finally believe they will be able to prise the Welsh international away for the final years of his career.

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FACCHETTI: Poised; SHOWING INTER-EST: The Italians have twice tried to sign Ryan Giggs - unsuccessfully
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jan 7, 2005
Words:391
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