United to hold City talks over Carrington extension plan
Manchester United could be an unlikely bidder for Manchester City's former Carrington training facility.
Old Trafford chiefs are currently in talks with surrounding landowners with regards their own training base, less than a quarter of a mile from where their cross-city rivals used to train.
The Red Devils are desperate to create more breathing space for their own plans, which would include more academy pitches and the possibility of living accommodation and a stadium for youth games.
League Two side Salford City, co-owned by former United players Gary and Phil Neville, David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt and Paul Scholes, are reportedly said to be keen on now renting the training ground from the Citizens at a cost of £80,000-per-year.
However, United are also alerted to the potential availability of the 60,000sq metre site, complete with a gym, a hydro-therapy pool, medical facilities, and a match-analysis suite.
More importantly, there are ten full-sized football pitches and City know they could majorly cash-in if United do decide it is cheaper to make them an offer to purchase the land outright.
Recently liquidated Bury FC had been using the Carrington Training Centre, rent free, on the proviso they were responsible for the upkeep of the facility before being evicted earlier this year having failed to do so.
United moved to Carrington from their old Cliff Training ground back in 2000, with legendary former boss Sir Alex Ferguson demanding more privacy and state-of-the-art facilities.
The club has continued to invest in new pitches and opened a new medical centre in 2013 but there are grander plans, which is where City might just come in handily if they were inclined to do business.
The news will be a boost to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as he looks to attract top players to United while the club remains out of the Champions League.
The Norwegian no doubt faces a hard-sell to get stars to drop into the Europa League, but world-class training facilities can go a minor way in helping bring in players during negotiations.
Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.