Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson will raid city rivals for Stephen Ireland - report

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is preparing a sensational bid for Manchester City's out of favour midfielder Stephen Ireland.

According to the Sunday Mirror, the Red Devil's chief was furious he was beaten to the signing of former Valencia star David Silva earlier this week who opted for a move to Eastlands.

Ferguson had hoped to sign Silva with an eye for him to be the long-term replacement for Paul Scholes, but the transfer fee and his £150,000-a-week wage demands, priced United out of any move.

As a result, Ferguson now wants to launch a bid for the unsettled Ireland, something that will test the resolve of City to not sell to their biggest rivals.

As exclusively revealed by Goal.com UK, United have already been linked with Ireland but the arrival of Silva, along with Yaya Toure, is expected to see his first team opportunities limited further next season.

Ireland was City's 'Player of the Year' in 2009, but now appears to have fallen down the pecking order under manager Roberto Mancini and may favour a move away from Eastlands to resurrect his career.

It is reported that Mancini is set to continue his summer shopping spree and hopes to wrap up deals for Wolfsburg striker Edin Dzeko, Barcelona's Dani Alves, Ajax's Gregory van der Wiel or Lazio's Serbian full-back Aleksandar Kolarov.

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