Liverpool & United set for tug-of-war over £15m wing star

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Manchester United are ready to reignite their interest in Liverpool target Ashley Young after reportedly having a bid rejected by Aston Villa in January.

According to the Mirror, the Barclays Premier League leaders approached Villa with an offer of £15 million for the England winger last month but their advances were soon rebuffed.

However, United are unlikely to be deterred in their pursuit of the 25-year-old - continues the Mirror - and will become embroiled in a transfer battle with Liverpool.

The former Watford attacker has been linked with a move to Anfield for a number of months, with Liverpool director of strategy Damien Comolli admitting the club would be interested should Young come on the market.

And, despite Young being unavailable for a transfer in the New Year, Villa will reportedly be prepared to cash-in come the summer as he continues to stall over a contract extension - with his current deal expiring in 2012.

However, Villa assistant manager Gary McAllister insists Gerard Houllier has been promised that he won't be losing any of his star names when the transfer window and the former Liverpool boss has identified Young as a player he is desperate to keep.


"The conversations with the chairman (Randy Lerner) and the manager were along the lines that nobody Gerard Houllier wants to keep is leaving. Simple as that," said former Liverpool midfielder, McAllister.

"Come the end of the season, we just need to wait and see what happens then.

"But throughout the transfer window, there was nobody the manager wanted to keep being allowed to leave."

This, however, is not expected to stop United or Liverpool registering their interest in Young again and, after Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that the Red Devils just missed out on pulling off a transfer coup last month, the Mirror speculates that Young was his mystery target.

"Although I let the transfer window shut without signing a new player, that is because we did our homework some time ago and didn't have to rush into any emergency buying," said the Old Trafford supremo prior to United's clash with Manchester City.

"We had an interest in one player, and I thought we had a chance of bringing him in, but the other parties involved weren't ready and so we have put it away until the summer."

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