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Manchester United pre-game latest: Including Rooney return and Ferguson comments

News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has challenged his team to “have a go” at winning the FA Cup. The Red Devils boss spoke with MUTV. He said,

"We haven't had a run for a long time, two or three years, and we have had some bad draws. We're at home tonight and we have got to take advantage of that. If we get through, we have got another home tie so there's a big incentive for the club to make sure we get through."

The United coach also revealed that Wayne Rooney will feature in this evening’s FA Cup replay with West Ham United but admitted the Englishman doesn’t cope well with spells out of the game through injury.

"Both Nani and Wayne will play, both are fit," he revealed.

“Wayne is the type of player who can't miss games. The frame he's got, the type of person he is, he needs to play all the time."

Striker Javier Hernandez stated his belief that no team is safe from the Premier League leaders, even if they are ahead in the game.

“It’s about belief. It’s in our history and the gaffer always tells us: Never give up, always fight until the end,” insisted the Mexican.

Chicharito also expressed his keenness to continue developing his footballing education with Wayne Rooney as his mentor.

In further team news, United will be boosted by some positive news over the fitness concerns of both Ashley Young and captain Nemanja Vidic who were withdrawn from last weekend’s clash with Liverpool at Old Trafford after suffering knee injuries and a concussion.

Scans have revealed that neither player has sustained any serious damage – although Young is a major doubt for Sunday’s clash with Tottenham and will certainly miss tonight’s FA Cup game.

Vidic is expected to return at the weekend, rather than this evening and it is expected that Phil Jones and Chris Smalling will start in central defence.

Youngster Tom Cleverley has urged his team to aim to control the possession tonight. He told the club’s official website,

“We’ll try and get the passing game going and make a game that will suit us more than them.”

Meanwhile goalkeeper David De Gea has called for the team to deal with the aerial threat of the Hammers better.

“We conceded two goals from headers in the first game and it’s a type of play that you come across in this league quite a bit,” he told manutd.com

Hammers boss Sam Allardyce has given his praise to United midfielder Michael Carrick, referring to him as a good example of the modern approach to tackling and intercepting.

In transfer news, United are rumoured to be interested in signing Real Madrid attacking midfielder Angel Di Maria as a long-term replacement for contract rebel Nani.

Juventus are rumoured to be interested in competing with United for the signature of Porto starlet James Rodriguez, hailed as the next Cristiano Ronaldo. The Italian champions are thought to be preparing a huge bid to swoop for the 21-year-old this month. He is reportedly rated at £38 million.

According to reports Crystal Palace are set to reject a £6 million offer from United for England youngster Wilfried Zaha. United were expected to make their bid this week but the Championship side are hoping to hold out for a higher bid.

In other news, Jamaican Olympic Gold medallist Usain Bolt insists he still wants to play for United but revealed he turned down suggestions from Sir Alex Ferguson after the boss offered to take him to a ‘fancy restaurant’. He said he preferred Nando’s.

image: © nasmac

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