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St Etienne 17:00 Man Utd

United eye Stoke starlet

By Graeme Bailey.   Last Updated: 13/07/05 9:00am

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Manchester United have made a £1 million bid for Stoke starlet Ben Foster.

The 22-year-old is currently number three goalkeeper at The Britannia Stadium, and is yet to make his first team debut.

However, his potential has not gone unnoticed following loan spells at Bristol City and most notably last year at Wrexham.

It was during his stay at The Racecourse Ground that saw a number of clubs sit-up and take notice.

Foster actually caught the eye of Sir Alex Ferguson during the LDV Vans Trophy final, where he helped Wrexham to a 2-0 victory over Southend.

Following the match at The Millennium Stadium, Ferguson dispatched his scouts and coaches to make detailed checks on Foster - and a number of glowing reports followed.

Ferguson has now lodged a sizeable offer with The Potteries club, who already have experienced duo Ed de Goey and Steve Simonsen at the club.

United, who themselves have just signed a new number one in the shape of Edwin van der Sar, feel Foster is the ideal man to come into Old Trafford and be groomed as potential Red Devil and England number one.

Foster's agent Lee Payne refused to confirm United's interest in his charge, but admitted anyone would be flattered by an approach from the red-side of Manchester.

"There has been interest in Ben, but we cannot comment on any possible move," Payne told skysports.com.

"Obviously Ben, like any player in the world, would jump at the chance to join Manchester United - but that is all we can say at this moment."

Foster joined Stoke as a youngster when he was snapped up by their academy staff from non-league outfit RC Warwick.

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