Sports News of Monday, 14 May 2001
Ghana youth impresses at Man United
Liberty Professionals midfielder Sulley Muntari could sign for United after the Ghanaian teenager impressed on trial at the club last week.
Muntari, 17 next week, flew into England with his agents for trials at Carrington and may seal a ?1million move to the Premiership champions within the week.
The left-sided midfielder attracted attention playing for Ghana at the Meridian Cup in January and then helped his country's Under-20 side to the final of the African Youth Championships in April.
Muntari, who scored twice as Ghana saw off Nigeria 3-0 in the semi-finals, was named in the team of the tournament and is set to represent his country in the World Youth Championships in Argentina in June.
He was reportedly given the VIP treatment by United who took him to see the reserves play Liverpool at Old Trafford last week.
FERGIE TARGETS AFRICAN DUO
Manchester United have been assessing the merits of African duo Sulley Muntari and Arthur Gomez, after both players had trials at Old Trafford.
Sir Alex Ferguson is already gearing towards United's future role within the world game where the Premiership champions will use satellite clubs from around the globe to develop burgeoning talent, and avoid complications with the work permit regulations in England.
The ultra-successful Scot is aware of the enormous untapped potential in Africa, Asia and South America and wants to ensure United will compete with the world's biggest clubs for the most promising talent.
There is the prospect that Muntari and Gomez could head for Belgian side Royal Antwerp in order to learn their trade and reach the levels where they could expect to compete for a place in the Red Devils' first team squad.
Muntari does not turn 17 until next week but he has impressed at left back and left midfield for the Ghanian under-20 side.
The Liberty Professionals starlet impressed during a trial spell in Manchester last week, after flying to England with his agents.
Gomez, 17, plays for Scorpions in Gambia.. He has the backing of under-20 coach Alhagie Sillah, who responded to the news of the teenager's trial: "He has the talent, and has shown everybody that he is good and can fit anywhere in the world.
"That is a big plus for Gambian football because scouts will flock here to check our players.
"I'm sure Arthur will not find it a problem to make it. The trials will not be a hurdle. It will be like drinking water for him.
"We have to be careful as there are scouts who come here, say a lot of things and, when investigations are made, they are not scouts after all but out for their own ends."
United were attracted to the two players during the African Youth championships in April, where Muntari was sensational in the semi-final win over Nigeria, scoring twice, one goal from an acrobatic scissors kick.
Local reports indicate that the Ghanaian starlet could seal a ?1 million move to England within the next week, but there may not be the need for Ferguson to splash out such a large sum at this stage, instead negotiating a move involving Antwerp.