News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
Manchester United veteran Rio Ferdinand revealed he does ‘want to play for England’ at the weekend, despite pulling out of England boss Roy Hodgson’s squad due to fitness concerns.
“He (Roy) made it very clear that he’ll consider me for the next squads and that will be fantastic,” he said.
“Obviously we’ve got to get the game against Montenegro out of the way. We need to win that and then, hopefully, we can look forward to a good summer.”
Meanwhile England captain Steven Gerrard insisted that England supporters have the ‘right’ to boo Ferdinand for his withdrawal from the England squad.
"I think the fans have shown their frustration about Rio not being here. They're entitled to their opinion; they pay good money to come over here,” explained the skipper.
United and England youngster Tom Cleverley has pointed to his Manchester United teammates in the England squad as a reason for the club to be proud of their contingent.
“When you see the current squad, seven of us got picked [Ferdinand pulled out to manage his fitness],” Cleverley told English media in Montenegro. “It’s the biggest [United contingent] it has been for a while. You have Phil Jones to add to that,” Cleverley said.
“We are obviously proud of that fact. We must be doing something right for our club. Hopefully we can carry on that form for England as well.”
His United and England teammate Chris Smalling is looking forward to fulfilling his potential for his country, where he alluded to Ferdinand’s withdrawal as his chance to fill his elder’s boots.
“I’m definitely conscious of the chance in central defence. There is clearly an opening there and the more games I can get, the more the position can become my own. I think the players who have come in have given the manager something to think about,” he revealed.
In transfer news, United ‘target’ Stoke City goalkeeper Asmir Begovic revealed his pleasure at being linked with a move to Old Trafford.
"I'm not under more pressure because United are watching me," he told Bosnian media outlet Sport.ba.
"I'm glad that they do because that means I'm doing something good. It gives me more motivation to do better and better.”
Meanwhile, PSV Eindhoven midfielder and United ‘target’ Kevin Strootman has also outlined his interest in opening possible talks with other clubs.
"Every transfer window there are clubs interested. But a club must speak to me first,” said the Dutchman.
Elsewhere, another of United’s ‘targets’ Ezequiel Garay has implied he is aware of ‘interest’ in him.
"I know of United and Barca," he stated, but continued, revealing he is focused on his current club.
"I am just thinking about Benfica."
The Daily Mail reports that United are in the process of looking for a ‘replacement’ for Patrice Evra.
According to their claim Porto left-back Alex Sandro is their target of choice.
However, The Metro claims United will conduct a clear out this summer with Antonio Valencia expected to lead the ‘exodus’ from Old Trafford.
In other news, Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany has claimed City will ‘hit back’ at United next season.
"In football, ultimately, you always have to have a winner and a loser so I think that we'll learn from what happened and we'll grow stronger again. We still have a good run in the FA Cup," asserted the Belgian.
"I hope next season when he does go to Manchester United that he gets the same chances he's getting now at Palace, and I'm sure he'll take them by storm."
Finally, former United, Liverpool and England striker Michael Owen revealed that he could be tempted into management after stating last week that he will retire from playing football at the end of this season.
"I have not closed the door on management," Owen told Football Focus.
“I find it hard to say no to people. If someone offers you a good job, I'd think, 'I would love to do that'.”
image: © ronnie macdonald