News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed he advised defender Rio Ferdinand to talk personally with England boss Roy Hodgson over his withdrawal from the England squad this month.
"He did the right thing to go down and see Roy. I encouraged him to go down and do it face to face,” said the Scot.
Ferdinand ‘hit back’ at England fans who reportedly sang abusive chants whilst the FA are investigating video evidence to decipher whether the incident in during England’s win over San Marino last week were racially charged.
“You expect+accept banter from fans on the terraces as its part of what makes the game great, but racism is not banter, & from ya own fans. WOW," Ferdinand wrote on Twitter.
"Always a small minority who ruin it for others. Let's not jump to conclusions + assume though as it might just have been banter. We'll see after the investigation,” he added.
Meanwhile, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has ‘conceded’ the title to United, admitting his team is 'disappointed because we can't win this title'.
United captain Nemanja Vidic is determined to get the Premier League trophy back but warned there is still work to be done to achieve that aim.
“You are never sure until you have the trophy in your hands. We are 15 points clear but we still have big games to play,” said the skipper ahead of United’s trip to Sunderland on Saturday.
Sir Alex Ferguson insisted ahead of this weekend’s game that he has forgiven Sunderland fans for their jeering at United’s loss of the title on the last day of last season.
“I don't have any issues with the Sunderland fans. I don't think the Sunderland fans wanted City to win it any more than we did. It was just a fact that they were our opponents that day,” explained the boss.
In team news, United trio Nani, Phil Jones and Paul Scholes have all resumed training ahead of the weekend’s trip to the Stadium of Light.
"Nani, Jones and Scholes are all doing a little bit of training. Hopefully it will give us a good strong squad to approach the two games on Saturday and Monday,” Ferguson revealed earlier today.
The predicted line up for tomorrow’s clash with the Black Cats is:
Lindegaard – Jones – Evans – Rafael – Buttner – Scholes – Giggs – Anderson – Valencia – Nani – Hernandez
The boss is expected to rest or bench Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, David De Gea, Ashley Young, Tom Cleverley, Michael Carrick, and Shinji Kagawa for Monday’s FA Cup replay with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
In transfer news, reports have emerged that United are set to do ‘battle’ with Liverpool over Fulham youngster Patrick Roberts this summer.
The 16-year-old is highly rated as one of the outstanding English players of his generation.
His Ajax teammate Toby Alderweireld is also the subject of a rumoured £10 million bid being prepared by United.
In other news, we have assessed the players that may be offloaded this summer to make way for potential new signings.
image: © Paolo Camera