News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is ‘delighted’ with Wayne Rooney’s form after a summer of speculation over the England number 10’s future at Old Trafford.
"Wayne was fantastic," Ferguson told MUTV following United’s 4-2 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in midweek.
"I'm pleased to see that. He's got his energy back, his purpose to attack. As a director, I'm delighted to see him back to how we remember him."
Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand believes United will need all their four strikers to fire this term.
"The delight the manager has got is that you have people like Chicarito [Hernandez] and Danny Welbeck waiting in the wings, who deserve time on the pitch as well because their ability demands that," he told The Sun.
"That's been the whole point of this club, all the time since the manager has been bringing in four strikers at the club, like Teddy, Ole, Dwight and Coley - it's been the staple of the club since then.”
"Time will tell if it [Van Persie and Rooney] will be the one of the great partnerships. But I think nowadays you have to share the load between four," he added.
Manchester United take on Manchester City this Sunday in the first Manchester derby of the season away at the Etihad.
Manager David Moyes believes the derby will be ‘crucial’ to the title race. It will be the Scot’s first Manchester derby of his career.
“There is an excitement for any derbies in any big city in the world. They’re all really important to your own supporters. They’re important to the players as well but ultimately it’s about what happens come the end of the season and how many points you get together to see who is top,” said Moyes.
“These points could be really important towards that, they may not be. We’ll go and we’ll try and take all the points.”
In team news, Moyes could neither confirm nor deny the absence of Rafael, Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck whilst City captain Vincent Kompany is expected to return for the clash, although playmaker David Silva is a ‘major doubt’ due to a thigh strain.
The Mirror have put together an archival look back at the best moments from previous Manchester derby clashes which you can find here.
In transfer news, Everton star Leighton Baines ‘wanted to move to United’ according to Toffees coach Alan Stubbs. The England fullback’s proposed move to United was blocked by his club who maintained a stance that the 28-year-old was not for sale.
“Bainesy was never really an option, the club had dug its heels in. Bainesy had obviously said he’d like to go,” explained Stubbs, describing the events that took place on deadline day this summer.
"And then come nine o'clock suddenly we started to get linked with [Romelu] Lukaku and then the Fellaini thing was starting with negotiations with United. By the time it had finished we’d bought three in and they are great additions to the squad."
Meanwhile, several sources are reporting today that United are ‘plotting’ a £25 million January ‘swoop’ for Luke Shaw of Southampton, after their pursuit of Baines was unsuccessful this summer.
In other news, United are ‘unhappy’ about proposals for an anti-homophobia campaign that would see players wear ‘rainbow laces’ to raise awareness of homophobia in football and break down barriers for gay and lesbian players and supporters.
Gay rights charity Stonewall linked up with Paddy Power to send the multi-coloured laces to all 92 professional clubs in England and 42 in Scotland but the club, along with Tottenham, have revealed they are unhappy that the Premier League was not consulted on the decision.
A statement from Spurs read: "Whilst the campaign message is positive and one we support, there was unfortunately no prior consultation with ourselves, the Premier League or other clubs.
"Such consultation would have enabled us to avoid issues in respect of associated third-party commercial entities.”
Manchester United have stated:
"The club supports the League’s central anti-discrimination efforts through Kick It Out. It is a positive move that Stonewall are now speaking to the League directly, rather than working with a commercial provider on a campaign without involving clubs or players at any stage."
image: © Jason Gulledge