News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
Manchester United veteran Ryan Giggs has signed a new on-year contract with the club to keep him at Old Trafford until June 2014.
"I am feeling good, enjoying my football more than ever and, most importantly, I feel I am making a contribution to the team," said Giggs.
United manager Sir Alex Ferguson stated: "Ryan is an example to us all, the way in which he has, and continues to, look after himself.”
United midfielder Michael Carrick hailed Giggs as ‘Mr Manchester United’, following the announcement of the 39-year-old’s contract extension.
"He sets an example - and has done for a number of years. He is Mr Manchester United," Carrick told ManUtd.com
"He sets the tone around the dressing room. He doesn't say an awful lot but when he does speak, everyone listens and everyone respects him. It leads onto the pitch.”
The manager also revealed that a coaching position awaits the veteran star should he wish to continue his association with the club beyond 2014.
"That will happen, that's the plan," he said. "We’ve done the same with Nicky Butt with the Reserves and when Paul Scholes finishes it will be exactly the same with him.”
"We’re good at that – we’ve got several former players installed in the club in different capacities. Mike Phelan, Brian McClair, Tony Whelan, Paul McGuinness… I think it’s important we have people here who have the experience of being a player here."
Ferguson also revealed his own future plans – he told reporters today that he intends to take on a directorial role upon his retirement from coaching.
“There's no getting rid of me," said the 71-year-old.
“I will probably become a director.”
In team news, United striker Robin van Persie has been passed fit for United’s clash with Norwich at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The Dutchman suffered a hip injury following a collision with a television camera during last week’s victory at QPR.
“Robin van Persie has trained this week – he's available for tomorrow. His hip was very tender but he's okay now,” revealed his manager. However it is expected he will be rested this weekend ahead of United’s visit from Real Madrid next week in their Champions League showdown.
De Gea – Rafael – Smalling – Evans – Buttner – Valencia – Anderson – Young – Nani – Rooney - Hernandez
In transfer news, Leicester City assistant manager Craig Shakespeare has revealed there have been no further negotiations over Jeffrey Schlupp.
"We have not heard anything to that effect,” he revealed to reporters today.
Meanwhile, The Express claims that United will rival Paris Saint-Germain for the signing of Real Madrid defender Rafael Varane. The Frenchman has caught the eye at the Bernabeu this year and at just 19-year-old he is being chased by an array of the continents most elite clubs.
The same source also claims United are set to lose out on the signing of target Robert Lewandowski from Borussia Dortmund. It is understood he is being lined up to join Pep Guardiola who takes over Bayern Munich at the end of the season.
In other news, Manchester City’s Jack Rodwell stated he hopes United ‘slip up’ against Norwich this weekend.
"We hope they slip up. All we can do is win our games. If we don't win our games and United don't then we've only got ourselves to blame.”
United are currently 12 points clear of the chasing champions.
Real Madrid will train at Manchester City’s stadium ahead of their Champions League clash next week at Old Trafford. City will provide the Etihad for the Spanish champions.
Meanwhile, former United star David Beckham, now at PSG, has alerted to the ‘special’ qualities of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
He told reporters in Paris,
"United has a special place in his heart. The fans love him and it will be a great occasion. You enjoy going back [to your former club] and I am sure it will inspire him. Many things inspire great players and him going back will be a special night.”
The Independent claims that United have already conducted a ‘feasibility study’ into the possibility of re-singing Ronaldo. Whilst Ferguson recently described the Madrid star as ‘unbuyable’ it seems he still hold out hope that it may be possible.
Tickets for Ronaldo’s return to Old Trafford with Madrid next week are fetching £1000 on the black market, according to The Manchester Evening News.
However, comedian Russell Brand got a spot of luck via Rio Ferdinand who has come ‘under fire’ following his Twitter agreement to give the West Ham fan Brand two tickets for free.
image: © Paolo Camera