Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson WILL bid for Valencia striker David Villa. Despite Villa declaring he wants to stay in Spain, the Mirror says Ferguson is on red alert to make a £40million bid for Villa after Barcelona opened the auction last night.

Fergie wants Villa above all other options as he looks to replace the lost goals of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez and he's poised to match any Barca offer.

The canny Old Trafford chief - back from a break in France - has been monitoring the Villa race since he sold Ronaldo and passed on Tevez. And now he's going in with a rival bid.

Villa flew back from the Confederations Cup yesterday keen to sort out his future and United hope they can speak to him next week - or at least have the chase resolved.

They will have to convince the player, though. He said recently: "Next season I will play in Spain because it is the league that is best for me."