United interest in Ricardo confirmed

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REAL VALLADOLID president Carlos Suarez has confirmed exclusively to planetfootball.com that Manchester United are negotiating for the transfer of Spanish international goalkeeper Ricardo.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has already revealed that he is hunting for a new shot-stopper, due to the long-term uncertainty of injury victim Fabien Barthez.

Northern Ireland international keeper Roy Carroll has filled in for the Frenchman, who has been out of action after injuring himself in the pre-season friendly against Ajax, with Ferguson being forced to put youngster Ben Williams on the bench.

However, Suarez has stated The Old Trafford side are in talks for the 30-year-old and hope to complete the deal before Friday's Champions League deadline.

"We have been in talks for hours with Manchester United for the transfer of keeper Ricardo," said Suarez. "The negotiations have intensified by the English team, because they want to close the deal before Friday to register him for the Champions League.

United are believed to have offered around ‚é¼3 million (£1.9 million) for the former Atletico Madrid star, and although Valladolid are holding out for ‚é¼4 million, it is expected that an agreement will be reached before the deadline.

Ricardo, who was linked with a move to Premiership rivals Arsenal earlier this year, began his career with Atletico before moving to the Jose Zorilla Stadium club in 1998.