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B'mouth 15:00 A Villa

Inter keep tabs on Alpay

By Mark Buckingham & Ugur Cakir.   Last Updated: 25/07/02 3:33pm

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INTERNAZIONALE are tracking Aston Villa defender Alpay, with the Turk acknowledging there are several major clubs on his trail.

The imposing stopper has hinted he is contemplating quitting Villa Park after two seasons and Inter coach Hector Cuper is a big admirer of the 29-year-old.

Alpay enjoyed an impressive World Cup campaign and has revealed his agent is keeping tabs on clubs interested in his services.

"My agent is following my transfer at the moment. I know that there are offers from only the biggest clubs," said Alpay last week.

While Cuper is a fan of Alpay, the centre half is only the third choice on the Inter chief's summer shopping list.

Cuper's prime targets are Lazio's defensive duo Alessandro Nesta and Jaap Stam, with the Italian international his favoured signing.

However, he is unlikely to land either player meaning Alpay could prove to be a viable alternative for Cuper.

Lazio rejected Inter's offer for Nesta which included Turkish midfielder Emre in part exchange because the biancoceleste wanted Cristiano Zanetti involved in any swap deal.

Inter are not keen to release Zanetti while any swoop for Stam is likely to flounder due to the Dutchman's reticence to leave Lazio.

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