Newcastle target Ze Maria in Sheffield Utd trials

Sheffield United have moved ahead of Middlesbrough and Newcastle in the battle for off contract Inter Milan wing-back Ze Maria.

United have raked in £10m from post-Premier League sales following yesterday's £675,000 departure of midfielder Ahmed Fathi, who is returning to Egypt with Al-Ahly.

With the decks cleared, manager Bryan Robson had stepped up his recruitment drive by taking Brazil international Ze Maria, 34, on a week's trial.

Robson, who took Juninho to Middlesbrough over a decade ago, is homing in on the South American country with his club having forged a link-up with Sao Paulo.

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