Liverpool fund Manchester United’s transfer of 16m defender

Liverpool’s pursuit of Sunderland’s Jordan Henderson has an unwanted side-effect – Sunderland are set to use the funds to bring in the Manchester United trio of John O’Shea, Darron Gibson and Wes Brown (collectively priced at 12m) while Manchester United are not only cutting down on their wage bill but also using the Sunderland (Liverpool) funds to pay for their 16m acquisition of Blackburn defender Phil Jones, ironically a player that Liverpool had been chasing (as well as Arsenal and Tottenham).

Jordan Henderson is set to move to Anfield and while initial reports suggested that David Ngog would head in the opposite direction as a makeweight (valued at 7m), recent reports say that the Henderson move is valued at 16m and is independent of David Ngog’s move in the opposite direction, although Sunderland are still interested in bringing him in.

Liverpool are also competing with Manchester United for the services of Ashley Young, who is pushing to finalise a move ahead of his wedding this weekend and looks likely to opt for Champions League football with Manchester United over a stint at Liverpool.

Manchester United were looking to make three signings at the start of the summer but may end up making as much as five, with David De Gea (18m), Raphael Varane (8m) and one more midfielder set to join Jones and Young at Old Trafford as Ferguson strengthens the side for another title challenge (where United have been billed as favourites by most bookies for the first time in many years – get more football bet tips).

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