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Newcastle have bid rejected for Utd's Brown

Newcastle United have had their bid for unsettled Manchester United defender Wes Brown rejected.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said: 'We have had an inquiry from Newcastle for Wes Brown but we have turned it down.'

The 28-year-old England international will be out of contract in the summer and has recently turned down an improved final deal from Old Trafford.

The Manchester Evening News reported that Newcastle came through with a firm offer, believed to be approximately £2million, for the versatile defender.

Although Ferguson has reject Newcastle's initial offer has not ruled out a deal taking place if the player is interested.

'The matter rests with Wes and his agent,' Ferguson said. 'We'll just wait and see what happens. Our offer is still there - it's now up to Wes.'

Brown has spent most of the season deputising for the injured Gary Neville at right-back and if United manager Ferguson decides to accept an offer, rather than lose the player for nothing in the summer, he may be left short of defenders.

Toon manager Sam Allardyce is under serious pressure on Tyneside as his team has struggled home and away and sees the addition of Brown as key to bolstering his side's shaky defence.

The former Bolton boss is also maintaining his interest in Tal Ben-Haim, whom he tried to sign on a free transfer from his old club during the close-season, but was beaten to the punch by Chelsea.

The Israel international has found his chances limited at Stamford Bridge, although has been involved in recent games because of the absence of John Terry and Ricardo Carvalho.

However, the Blues are said to have placed a £2million price-tag on his head.