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Will Thierry Henry turn traitor?
by Joe Addison, August 12th, 2008 7AM



[TRANSFER TALK] The forward situation at Manchester United is growing dire. Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored 42 goals for the team last season, is out until October with an ankle injury, Wayne Rooney picked up a "mysterious illness" in Nigeria and may miss the opening match of the season, Louis Saha is linked with a move to French club Monaco, and Angola striker Manucho is having problems securing a work permit.

That leaves a very lonely Carlos Tevez. United manager Sir Alex Ferguson experimented in this weekend's Charity Shield match against Portsmouth by throwing Ryan Giggs up top to partner the Argentine. United failed to score in a drab game and had to rely on a penalty shootout to secure victory.

"It has been pressing since the end of last season," said Ferguson after the win. "We like to operate with four strikers and we have not been able to do that."

Ferguson planned on remedying the situation by bringing in Tottenham talisman Dimitar Berbatov. But negotiations between the two clubs have broken down, as Spurs continues to ratchet up its asking price for the Bulgarian player - now at $79 million.

Turned off by such a high fee, Manchester United is turning its attention to an unlikely target -- former Arsenal forward Thierry Henry. The English and European champions are rumored to be preparing a $40 million bid for the French international, who has spent just one season at Barcelona since moving from the Gunners.

Ferguson dodged the issue when asked directly about the links to Henry, who will be 31 at the start of the upcoming season.

"I can't answer the question because I don't have the right answer," Ferguson said. "It is possible I will sign someone this week. We are trying and we are looking at one or two options. Hopefully we will get something done."

If Henry were to arrive at Old Trafford, it would likely send shockwaves through the red side of London. Throughout his career, Henry has been vocal about his love for Arsenal, but it's hard to think of a more traitorous act than moving to Manchester United.

Ferguson has also been linked with a number of other big names, including Paraguayan Roque Santa Cruz (Blackburn), Frenchman Karim Benzema (Lyon) and Spaniard David Villa (Valencia).

But some skeptics argue that Ferguson is up to his usual mind games and that the Scot only has eyes for Berbatov - the Henry rumors serving as a backhand way of bringing down Tottenham's asking price for the 27-year-old.


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