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Manchester United latest: Including Fletcher out and Giggs’ future

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

Darren Fletcher has been ruled out for the rest of the season after his bowel problem recurred and he had to undergo surgery. The Scot had fought back from his illness to play first team football this season, after missing most of 2011/12, but the news is a bitter blow to club and player.

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has stated his belief that veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs will still be playing for the club next season, despite the fact that he will be 40 years of age this November.

“He will play for another year,” Ferguson told MUTV.

The manager also dismissed the suggestion that striker Robin van Persie makes United a ‘one-man team’.

"I don't go along with the idea we have become a one-man team," the boss explained.

"Chicharito has weighed in with 12 goals while Wayne Rooney is currently on nine.”

Ferguson also admitted his team will have to improve their penalty taking after Wayne Rooney missed yet again from the spot against West Ham in their 1-0 midweek FA Cup replay victory.

“We have to improve. We can't just say it's one of those things," said the Scot.

West Ham boss Sam Allardyce spoke after his side’s exit from the competition, accusing referees of favouring United. He said,

"With Rafael, the ball hits his hand but no penalty is given. With Jordan Spence, the ball hits his hand and it's a penalty. You see it time and time again at Old Trafford.”

Ferguson took the opportunity after the game to praise the defensive efforts of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling for their part in United’s clean sheet.

“The two of them were absolutely marvellous and I couldn’t be more pleased,” he said of the defensive duo.

In the Daily Mail, Martin Samuel has written a scathing attack on the consortium of Premier League clubs who are currently pushing for the spending regulations (FFP) to be introduced that would see clubs have to ‘break even’ on over a rolling three-year period.

United have sided with Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur in a quest to pressure the FA and UEFA to support the introduction and strict management of the proposed regulations.

United chief executive David Gill has insisted he believes the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to United is a ‘realistic’ possibility. Gill conceded however, in an interview with Sky Sports,

"He is a brilliant player but he is contracted for the next two-and-a-half years at Madrid.”

image: © Paolo Camera

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