BLACKBURN Rovers today issued a firm hands-off warning to any clubs thinking of launching a summer move for Ewood number one Brad Friedel.

Arsenal and Manchester United are both reported to be ready to go head-to-head in a two-way battle for the 31-year-old stopper.

But Rovers chief executive John Williams says the United States international is 'not for sale' and insists the club will resist all attempts to lure him away from Ewood.

"Brad is not for sale," said Williams.

"We haven't had any enquiries from anyone for him and we wouldn't welcome any either because we don't want to sell him."

According to reports, Arsenal are poised to make a move for Friedel next week after identifying him as the man to replace David Seaman.

England keeper Seaman is due to retire this weekend following Arsenal's FA Cup final with Southampton at the Millennium Stadium and Friedel is thought to top a short-list of three possible successors.

Arsene Wenger has also been linked with moves for Leeds United's Paul Robinson and Turkish international stopper Rustu Recber.

But Friedel impressed the Gunners boss with an incredible display at Highbury earlier this season which may have catapulted him to the top of his hit-list.

However, the Gunners could face competition for his signature as United look for a replacement for Fabien Barthez.

Sir Alex Ferguson has become increasingly frustrated with the erratic form of his

Frenchman and may now launch a move for Friedel who has proved himself to be the most consistent goalkeeper in the Premiership.

He was recently named in the PFA team of the year and his record of 15 clean sheets for the season was better than any other keeper in the top flight.

Friedel is happy at Rovers and has a great working relationship with manager Graeme Souness.

However, when asked to clarify his situation at the weekend, he decided not to be drawn into a conversation about his future.

One report in this morning's national Press claimed third parties anticipate having talks with Arsenal and United over the coming fortnight in an attempt to hammer out a deal to take Friedel from Ewood Park.

But Rovers boss Graeme Souness is under no pressure to sell any of his star players and will vigorously resist any attempts to prise him away.

Meanwhile, Liverpool boss Gerard Houllier has dropped a hint that Damien Duff could be out of his price-range following the Reds' failure to qualify for the Champions League.

Houllier is keen on moves for Duff and Auxerre striker Djibril Cisse but has admitted he cannot afford to land both.

The Liverpool chief plans to meet Auxerre coach Guy Roux to discuss a possible move for Cisse soon and if he persuades him to part with the French international then it could scupper any bid for the Rovers winger.

"We can't do both (Duff and Cisse) or we would have to sell," said Houllier. "I would like to keep the nucleus of the team."