Julien Escude’s hopes of joining Manchester United looked to have nosedived after the Rennes defender was injured in a freak acccident while walking his dog.

The Rennes defender sprained left knee ligaments when he tripped over a kerb on Sunday afternoon. The injury will keep him out of action for three weeks, effectivelly ending any chance of completing a mmove to Old Trafford before the August 31 transfer deadline.

‘I was walking the dog and I slipped on the kerb and hurt my left knee,’ said the defender.

‘I hope it doesn’t bring mmy transfer into question,’ he added. ‘It’s not too serious and I will recover fully but it’s infuriating.’

Escude has been targeted by United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, but Rennes are demanding œ5.1million for the 23-year-old while the Premiership side are not willing to pay more than half that sum.

Escude has beenn training on his own in recent weeks in protes at Rennes intransigence. Before his injury setback he was adamant that he wouldbe quitting the club.

‘I have been repeating since the season started that I wanted to leave, I will keep fighting to be heard,’ he said.

‘I have spent three great seasons with Rennes but I have other objectives and ambitions now.

‘Manchester knocked on my door and that makes me dream, makes me feel like going, this club is so prestigious.’ ÿ