News, views, and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he intends to give medals to every player who has contributed to the club’s 20th league title win this season.
"They [the fringe players] will get medals. It’s changed now. They give you an allocated number of medals and it’s up to you to distribute them how you want,” explained the Scot.
The boss specifically mentioned Darren Fletcher who has been sidelined for a lengthy period this term due to illness.
"I think that’s fair because, in Darren Fletcher’s case for instance, it’s only illness which has prohibited him from getting a medal [under the old 10 appearances rule]. I’m sure if he’d been available he would have been sitting here with one.”
United take on Arsenal at the Emirates this Sunday afternoon. Kick-off is scheduled for 16:00 and the fixture will be United striker Robin van Persie’s first return to his former club as a player of the opposition.
Ferguson outlined his target of a record-breaking points-tally this term – if United win all of their remaining four fixtures in the Premier League, they can beat Chelsea’s record of 95 points in 2004/05 and become record-breakers with 96 points.
“96 points would be phenomenal. I don’t know if that could ever be beaten but nonetheless it’s a marvellous achievement by us,” said the boss.
In team news, ahead of tomorrow’s clash with the Gunners, Arsenal will be without their only recognized striker Olivier Giroud through suspension as well as goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski who is injured. However, Jack Wilshere is expected to start.
United are still without Paul Scholes and Ashley Young who have been ruled out for the rest of the season, however, captain Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand are expected to return and the Red Devils have carried no injuries over from their 3-0 victory over Aston Villa last Monday.
The expected Arsenal line-up is:
Szczesny – Koscielny – Mertesacker – Sagna – Gibbs – Arteta – Ramsey – Wilshere – Walcott – Cazorla – Podolski
The expected United line up is:
De Gea – Vidic – Ferdinand – Evra – Rafael – Carrick – Cleverley – Rooney – Kagawa – Valencia – Van Persie
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has compared Van Persie to a ‘broody woman’ ahead of the Dutch ace’s return.
“He had arrived at the age of 29 and thought, ‘can we win the championship here or do I have more chances to win it somewhere else’?” said Wenger
“There’s a kind of timescale - like for a woman who has no baby at 39. She starts to think I have not much time left now.”
In transfer news, The Telegraph reports that United owners the Glazer family have given the ‘go-ahead’ for Ferguson to sign Robert Lewandowski this summer.
"Having spoken with the Glazer family, I think there is every intention of wanting to kick on," Ferguson revealed.
"I don’t think we need a big rebuilding. I don’t think we need to rebuild at all, just possibly two players.”
Meanwhile, The Daily Mail claims United will take Brazilian teenager Wellington Bueno with them on their pre-season tour of Asia.
The 17-year-old is hailed as ‘the next Kaka’ in his homeland is part of a youth development program United have set up in South America.
Elsewhere, The Metro reports that Juventus are lining up a £20 million bid for Nani who has yet to renew his current contract with United, despite entering the final year of his current deal in June.
Meanwhile, my colleague asserts his belief on Here Is The City that United are the only English club Gareth Bale could join should he leave Tottenham.
In other news, The Independent reports that, despite on-going discontentment from United supporters who are against the Glazer family’s ownership of the club, the Glazer’s financial success has ‘quietened’ fans.
Manchester United’s Supporters Trust (MUST) has 190,000 members and although many of them have expressed their dissent over the Glazer’s seven-year reign at Old Trafford, chief executive David Gill believes United’s continued success over that period has helped ease tensions.
“There are still a small number of dissenters and they will always be there, and they have had long-held views which they are not going to change," Gill explained.
"We respect those. But ultimately, someone has to own the club."
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