Inter are stepping up their efforts to rescue Juan Sebastian Veron from his controversial stay at Manchester United.

Officials took advantage of the presence in San Siro for last week’s Champions League win over Rosenborg Trondheim of Veron’s former agent, Giovanni Mascardi. They discussed possible terms and associated costs for the Argentine midfielder’s return to Serie A. Mascardi arranged Veron’s original switchto Old Trafford 18 months ago and is still considered a key influence.

The Italian league leaders are ready to offer French midfielder Stephane Dalmat in part-exchange either during the transfer window in January or at the end of the season. No decision is likely until an Italian judge delivers verdict and possible sentence next month in the case over allegations – denied – that Veron played previously in Italy with papers forged to circumvent restrictions on non-European Union players.

Speculation in Italy includes an end-of-season swap with Arsenal which would take Patrick Vieira to Juventus in exchange for Dutchman Edgar Davids and £10million.

Juventus are among United’s rivals for French ‘superkid’ defender Philippe Mexes whom Auxerre are nowready to sell after their Champions League elimination.

Further behind-the-scenes contacts are possible on Tuesday when United’s Peter Kenyon, Arsenal’s David Dein and directors of Juventus and Internazionale are expected to attend a Brussels meeting of the G-14 group of leading European clubs.
By Keir Radnedge