Manchester United latest: Including Stoke reaction and Rooney exit claim

News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.

Manchester United continued their title march with a 2-0 victory over Stoke City at The Britannia on Sunday.

An early goal from Michael Carrick after just 4 minutes silenced the home crowd and was followed in the second half by a penalty scored by Robin van Persie.

Van Persie celebrated ending his 10-game goal-drought in style and thanked his teammates and manager Sir Alex Ferguson in jubilation.

"I had to score that one and thankfully it went in, and after that the relief of a couple of weeks came out, I would say," laughed the Dutchman.

"I wanted to celebrate with everyone; with the players, the staff, with all the players involved even on the bench because they've been great to me from day one,” he added.

"Even when sometimes it is a little bit harder, they still believe in me and they still support me and help me wherever they can. That's why I wanted to join everyone."

After the game, Ferguson joked that Van Persie ‘could have killed [him]’ with the joyous celebration during which he embraced the manager.

"He nearly killed me! He forgets I'm 71. It was a great celebration as it brought the emotion of the players and the fans together. We really did celebrate that,” revealed the Scot.

Ferguson praised the team performance to beat Stoke:

"I said at the beginning of the game that the wind would affect the ball and it was the worst day possible to come to Stoke. They are a handful and it was a really tough match. Credit to the players as they battled all day,” he acknowledged.

United continue in their quest to be record breakers, as the Dutch striker explained of the Red Devils aim of breaking Chelsea’s 2005 points total of 95.

“We have to win them all and then we will have the record in our pockets. It is a good aim and it is a nice target to go for.”

United currently have 80 points with 6 games left to play and 18 points available.

On a darker note, it has been alleged that some Stoke supporters taunted United over the 1958 Munich Air Disaster.

Meanwhile, captain Nemanja Vidic is expecting a ‘tough test’ against West Ham United on Wednesday evening.

“Now it's West Ham and we have to play well again. They play in a similar style to Stoke – we're going to have long balls and set-pieces to deal with,” explained the skipper.

Robin van Persie and strike-partner Wayne Rooney urged the team to win the title ‘in style’ ahead of their clash with the Hammers this week.

“That's the aim,” Rooney told Sky Sports.

“The manager [told us before the game at Stoke] that the season started today and we've now got six to go – we have to go for all of them,” said the Englishman.

Meanwhile, Ferguson explained his decision to play Rooney in midfield at the weekend.

“I thought a spell in midfield today would do him the world of good and, of course, it worked for us,” he revealed.

In transfer news, The Daily Mail reports that Rooney will join Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

According to their reports, former PSG adviser Michel Moulin has claimed the transfer is a ‘done deal.’

Meanwhile, speculation persists that Radamel Falcao is on his way to Old Trafford.

Elsewhere, Arsenal ‘target’ Mario Gotze revealed he would prefer a move to Manchester United, along with either Real Madrid or Barcelona, given the choice.

“I am very happy at Dortmund and satisfied with the way we are progressing as a team. Any thoughts about playing for another team are very much for the future, but Real Madrid, Barcelona or Manchester United could be interesting,” said the German.

In other news, United paid tribute to the 96 Liverpool fans who lost their lives at Hillsborough on April 15, 1989.

The club’s website released an official statement, reading:

"The thoughts and prayers of everybody at Manchester United today are with Liverpool Football Club and the families and friends of those who lost their lives."

image: © nasmac

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch