News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
In team news, Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson revealed today his ‘delight’ to have returned from West Ham ‘in one piece’ after a thoroughly physical encounter with the Hammers at Upton Park on Wednesday evening.
"We have a few bumps and bruises. Vida [Vidic] has a beautiful bruise on his cheekbone," Ferguson said.
"I think after coming out of that war zone I am pleased there is no one seriously injured.”
Ferguson also explained his decision to substitute Shinji Kagawa off with 12 minutes still to play at Upton Parka and admitted replacing him with Javier Hernandez was a mistake that likely cost United two points.
“I’d already given the fourth official the card, Chicha was standing on the touchline and then we scored the second goal. I think if I’d have changed my decision then we would have won it,” conceded the Scot.
He also criticized Wayne Rooney who was also taken off in the second half after a lacklustre display, amidst continuing speculation over his future.
“As far as taking Rooney off the other night, it was simple: he wasn’t playing as well as Shinji was.”
The boss revealed that winger Ashley Young will be ruled out for the remainder of the season due to his ankle injury suffered in United’s derby loss to Manchester City.
"We have bad news on Ashley," Ferguson told MUTV.
"He is out for the season unfortunately.”
United continue their title march on Monday evening against Aston Villa, currently sitting uncomfortably close to the drop zone in 17th place in the Premier League.
However, the Villains have been on a decent run of late, losing just one of their last 5 fixtures, winning 3 and drawing one.
Along with Ashley Young, Paul Scholes remains sidelined and Villa will likely be without Gabriel Agbonglahor who will undergo tests this weekend.
Chris Herd, Marc Albrighton, Gary Gardner, and Richard Dunne have all been rules out of the clash with injuries.
De Gea – Vidic – Ferdinand – Evra – Rafael – Carrick – Cleverley – Valencia – Kagawa – Rooney – Van Persie
Meanwhile, Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini has ‘U-turned’ on his concession of the title to United, according to his assistant Brian Kidd.
The Italian’s right-hand man asserted his renewed belief that City can still retain it this term:
"The title isn't over yet until it's mathematically finished. It's United's to lose but, make no mistake, there will be some jittery moments with what happened last year.”
United are currently 13 points clear at the top of the table with 5 games to play. However, their rivals have a game in hand due to their FA Cup schedule.
In transfer news, United ‘target’ Radamel Falcao’s wife has dismissed the suggestion that her husband will leave Athletico Madrid this summer.
Argentinean singer Lorelei Taron said: “The baby will be born in Spain. We are not moving.”
“Our doctor is here, we are very happy,” she added.
“Madrid is a city that I am in love with and Radamel is very happy here.”
Meanwhile, Ferguson also dismissed the suggestion that Wayne Rooney could leave Old Trafford this summer. The boss rubbished claims that the Englishman is unsettled, amidst rumours linking with Paris Saint-Germain.
“I don't think there is anything in that at all," said Ferguson.
According to reports, Real Madrid are chasing United ‘target’ Ezequiel Garay currently of Benfica.
Meanwhile United’s Bebe, currently on loan at Rio Ava admitted he ‘never took Manchester United seriously,’ and revealed he couldn’t understand the boss’ accent.
“I never took Manchester United seriously — and never understood a word Alex Ferguson was saying,” said the United youngster.
“I thought ‘I’m here, I’m doing well and I don’t have to try hard every day’.
“It was my fault. I was messing around too much,” he confessed.
In other news, United’s Michael Carrick and Robin van Persie have been nominated for Player of the Year along with Gareth Bale, Juan Mata, Eden Hazard, and Luis Suarez.
Danny Welbeck has been shortlisted for Young Player of the Year alongside Gareth Bale, Christian Benteke, Eden Hazard, Romelu Lukaku, and Jack Wilshere.
Finally, United are preparing to hold a victory parade in Manchester should they win their 20th Premier League title.
United officials have reportedly been holding discussions with Manchester town hall representatives to make arrangements for the celebrations.
image: © Nasmac