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MANCHESTER UNITED have been linked with an unlikely move for Fernando Sanz, Malaga's central defender and son of former Real president Florentino.

The 27-year-old has been a regular fixture in Malaga's side, having failed to make the grade at Real and it would appear that the Spanish club is attempting to profit from United's dismal defensive start to the season.

Sanz has his buy-out clause set at 3,000 million pesetas (£10.8 million) and with his contract due to run out in June 2003 Malaga would appear to be attempting to cash in on their player.

The Costa Del Sol club are well known as a selling side and Spanish sources indicate that the news of United's interest is another attempt to garner interest in the player. 

Sanz has previously been linked to both Tottenham and Liverpool, neither of whom decided to pursue their interest.