All the latest news, views and rumours relating to Manchester United…
As hard as it still is to believe, tomorrow will see Sir Alex Ferguson manage his last ever game at Old Trafford.
The match against Swansea was supposed to be a day of celebration, with the Premier League trophy being presented to the champions after the final whistle. Now it will be something else entirely – a celebration not of a single season but of Ferguson’s entire glorious reign.
The Scot’s first ever home game in charge of United – a 1-0 win over QPR – was played in front of 42,000 fans and 14,000 empty seats. Tomorrow it will be standing room only.
In team news, United will be without the suspended Rafael after his red card against Chelsea. While rumours persist that Wayne Rooney may not feature following his request to leave the club.
Danny Welbeck may return following a knee injury.
Swansea will definitely be without defender Angel Rangel, and are likely to be missing goalkeeper Michel Vorm following his head injury against Wigan.
Michael Laudrup’s side should welcome back top-scorer Michu, along with Chico Flores and Ki Sung-Yueng.
Despite suggestions the United players heard rumours of their manager’s imminent departure, defender Jonny Evans has said Ferguson’s announcement came as a shock to the entire team.
“A lot was said about rumours flying around during our golf day,” Evans said, “but it wasn’t really like that.
“We came in the next day, a meeting was called and the manager told us he was retiring.
“It was still a shock because no one saw it coming.”
While every United fan will be glued to the events at Old Trafford, they may also cast a quick glance towards Goodison Park, where David Moyes will oversee his final home game as Everton manager.
The Toffees entertain West Ham United with the home fans sure to give Moyes a great, if reluctant, send-off.
One of Moyes’ first jobs as United manager is likely to be resolving Rooney’s future.
Reports today suggest the two men will meet to hold talks about the player’s future, with the striker seeking assurances that he will be a key figure in the new manager’s plans.
In incoming transfer news, United are to give a two-week trial to 20-year-old Uruguayan fullback Guillermo Varela. Should he excel, he may be seen as long-term competition with Rafael for the right-back position.
image: © tomjoad