29/02/2008 14:09, Report by Ben Hibbs

Reds quell Benzema reports

Sir Alex Ferguson has moved to clear the air between United and Lyon over speculation linking the French club’s star striker Karim Benzema with a move to Old Trafford.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas complained that United have expressed an interest in the highly-rated 20-year-old striker, which they say is “destabilising”.

But the Reds boss says he has never publicly said that he wants to sign Benzema, and instead has merely commented on his qualities as a player and the threat he poses to United’s hopes of reaching the Champions League quarter finals.

“When you are asked about the quality of a player, you give an honest opinion,” said Sir Alex.

“He is a good player. But we have said the same about Juninho, [Hatem] Ben Arf, and [Jeremy] Toulalan.

"I think [Aulas] is being a little bit mischievous. We have never said that we are interested in Benzema. I haven’t said it yet, and I don’t say we are interested now."

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