Manchester United are launching a £30 million bid for Olympique Lyon star Karim Benzema. The Sun says United boss Sir Alex Ferguson sent his brother Martin to see striker Benzema play for Lyon last week.

France ace Benzema is seen as the best striker outside of Europe's major leagues and United will face strong competition for his signature from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Chelsea.

Benzema, 21, will be sold if Lyon miss out on a Champions League berth - and that explains Martin Ferguson's visit to France last week.

United want to be in pole position if the French club decide to offload their star striker.

Lyon are currently third - a point above Paris St Germain - and in serious danger of missing out on finishing second in Ligue 1 and a place in Europe's elite competition.