Manchester United weekend round-up: Including Ferguson's return and Fabregas

Sir Alex

All the news, views and transfer rumours from Old Trafford this weekend…

Sir Alex Ferguson enjoyed his first Old Trafford match as a spectator earlier today, as legends from Manchester United and Real Madrid competed for charity, with the Spanish side winning 2-1.

The match, watched by more than 60,000 fans, saw appearances from some of the treble-winning team of 1999, including Andy Cole, Dwight Yorke and Ronny Johnson, along with more recent reds such as Ruud van Nistelrooy, Edwin Van der Sar and Paul Scholes.

Former Liverpool striker Fernando Morientes put Real ahead, before van Nistelrooy equalised for the home team. With just five minutes remaining, and having been thwarted a number of times by the evergreen Van der Sar, the Spanish side scored the winning goal courtesy of a chip from Ruben de la Red.

The Dutch ‘keeper has also been in the news for his views on Wayne Rooney, after he criticised the way the striker has been treated by his national team.

There has been so much pressure on him and that is where England goes wrong,” Van der Sar said.

And if he doesn’t succeed it’s quite easy to cut him down again.”

The comments come as Rooney prepares to lead the line in this evening’s match against Brazil.

Two Brazilian’s who won’t be facing their United teammate tonight are the Da Silva twins, not that Fabio agrees with the decision.

Rafael should be in the squad to play England and he should be in the squad for the Confederations Cup,” he said.

But the manager didn’t call him up. Everyone makes mistakes and it’s time to get over it.”

The left-back also claimed that the pressure on England to succeed is nothing compared to the pressure in his homeland.

If 10 boys are born here, nine want to be a footballer,” he said. “And all 10 dads want their boys to be footballers.”

There is crazy pressure on Brazil, always,” his brother confirmed.

In transfer talk, reported United target Cesc Fabregas is set to discuss his future with Barcelona boss Tito Vilanova next week.

The former Arsenal midfielder has generated a lot of headlines lately, with David Moyes said to be keen on bringing him to Old Trafford. But it is suggested Fabregas would like to remain at the Nou Camp if he receives certain reassurances about game-time following the arrival of Neymar.

We also reported earlier today that long-term target Thiago Alcantara is said to be in talks with Real Madrid about a possible move to the Bernabeu. Despite earlier stories quashing the possibility of a move to Barcelona’s great rivals, Marca is reporting that talks have begun.

In managerial news, former United striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be in the running for the vacant Everton job. Whoever does take over from Moyes, it is clear Bill Kenwright is thinking long and hard about the decision.

Another former red now in charge of a Premier League rival is Mark Hughes, who has revealed that a conversation with Sir Alex Ferguson lifted him after his dismissal from QPR.

I had the opportunity to go and speak to Sir Alex for an hour, which I hadn’t done for many years, and I enjoyed it,” Hughes said.

I understand the value it gave me. I left feeling better.”

And finally, former United coach Rene Meulensteen is reportedly the favourite to replace Roberto Martinez at Wigan, should the Spaniard be appointed at Goodison Park.

While it is believed that Moyes offered Meulensteen the chance to remain at Old Trafford, the Dutchman was said to favour a return to management.

image: © tomjoad

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