Manchester United and Liverpool fight over Valencia star Villa

Manchester United and Liverpool are poised to go to war over Valencia hotshot David Villa.

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is determined to snap up Villa once Xabi Alonso completes his move to Real Madrid but he faces stiff competition from his fierce rival, Sir Alex Ferguson.

The United boss, despite claiming his summer spending was over, has realised the club would be short of attacking options should Michael Owen’s injury curse stike again.

United officials will discusss a possible deal for Villa when they meet their Valencia couterparts before Wednesday's glamour friendly at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils would have to pay £25 million to land the Spainish star who can play in midfield or up front.

The 27-year-old had hoped to continue his career in Spain but moves to Real Madrid and Barcelona collapsed.

David Silva is another Valencia star attracting the interest of Ferguson.

Alonso is expected to complete his deal with Real today for £30million and Benitez would love to pair Villa with his compatriot Fernando Torres.

If Villa evades the club, Roma midfielder Alberto Aquilani is also on Benitez's radar.

Liverpool were in action in a pre-season friendly last night, but they crashed 3-0 to Espanyol in a game celebrating the Spanish club’s new home, Estadi Cornella-El Prat.

Real Madrid target Alonso made a brief appearance, leaping off the bench with six minutes remaining.

Goals from Luis Garcia and a brace from ex-Chelsea reserve Ben Sahar sealed the win.

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