News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has escaped a ban from UEFA for sarcastically applauding referee Cuneyt Cakir after Tuesday night’s defeat at Old Trafford to Real Madrid.
However the authority still intends to proceed with actions against Manchester United after manager Sir Alex Ferguson failed to attend the post-match press conference because, according to his assistant Mike Phelan, he was too ‘distraught’.
''From the report we have received from the referee we will not take any action apart from the disciplinary proceedings against Manchester United for the red card of Nani and for post-match media obligations not being fulfilled,” said a UEFA spokesman.
United and Nani have been charged officially by UEFA with misconduct following the game and await to hear what the proposed penalty will be for their indiscretions.
Striker Wayne Rooney’s future has at United has been brought into question following Tuesday’s defeat and his manager’s decision to leave the Englishman on the bench for the majority of the game.
The Independent reports that Rooney’s fitness and supposed ‘tensions’ with the manager have opened the door to rumours that he could make an exit from Old Trafford.
However, former England boss Steve McClaren is convinced Rooney will stay at United. He said:
“For the moment, I cannot see his future beyond Manchester United.”
The Telegraph asserts that Rooney could be sold for as little as £20 million this summer and describes him as having fallen ‘out-of-favour’ with Ferguson.
The Daily Mail is running a report today on why defeat to Real Madrid could be the reason Sir Alex Ferguson will remain in charge at Old Trafford.
Meanwhile, United return to domestic action this weekend against Chelsea in the FA Cup sixth round clash at Old Trafford which assistant manager Mike Phelan believes is the perfect opportunity to ‘bounce back’.
“We've had disappointments before and we'll get over this one. We'll come in (to training) and kick on,” he insisted.
United keeper Anders Lindegaard insists that United are focused on their FA Cup game and will progress past the disappointment of Tuesday night.
“We have to respond,” he told MUTV.
“I sense a certain determination in the team as well that Sunday there are going to be no questions asked about who is going to win that game. We have to bounce back quickly and strongly.”
Defender Chris Smalling also outlined how important the FA Cup is to United.
"The competition holds a very high status for me," he told Inside United.
In other news, United striker Robin van Persie is the most popular player in the Premier League according to the number of shirts he sells.
United shirts with his name on the back make up an astonishing 25.5 per cent of total Premier League sales.
Elsewhere United’s U21 side beat West Ham’s youngsters 2-0 as ‘wonderkid’ Nick Powell shone.
Former Brazil striker Ronaldo has ‘hit back’ at Sir Alex Ferguson for his ‘fat joke’.
"Real Madrid shut his mouth for me. It was a lack of respect. A professional of his age, an English Sir, should not be so disrespectful. It was not classy,” said the World Cup 2014 ambassador.
Finally, Jim O’Neill still wants to buy Manchester United FC from the Glazers, despite losing out in 2010.
“I haven’t lost my desire to get involved in executing a philanthropic-based ownership of Manchester United,” he revealed.
image: © nasmac