Breaking news today is that Sir Alex Ferguson has been fined £12,000 by FA for his misconduct charge after comments made about a match official in the wake of Manchester United’s 2-2 draw with Tottenham last month.
Although Ferguson denied the charge, the FA released this statement today:
"Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing today, Sir Alex Ferguson has been fined £12,000 in relation to media comments made after Manchester United's game at Tottenham Hotspur on 20 January 2013."
Meanwhile Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini revealed in his press conference earlier today that he hopes United beat Real Madrid in the Champion’s League to progress to the quarterfinals.
"It is normal when you play against Real Madrid in the Champions League you can lose your strength. So I support Manchester United to go through in the Champions League," the Italian said.
United defender Rio Ferdinand has told The Independent’s Simon Hart that he is focusing on former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo ahead of United’s clash with Madrid next week.
"There are going to be times in the game that you're going to be left one-on-one with Ronaldo and other strikers that they've got, and we've got to be capable of defending and doing well in those situations,” said the centre-back.
Sir Alex Ferguson has commented on financial controls that are due to be introduced to the Premier League. Ferguson has concerns and doubts about the proposed Financial Fair Play regulations. He said,
“I'll be interested to see how they think they can operate it. It would be good if it was applicable but I have my doubts. I think it's always going to be problem to try to enforce it.”
Ferguson was also in the back-page headlines this morning over comments he made criticising England U21 coach Stuart Pearce for his handling of Phil Jones’ withdrawal from the squad due to shingles.
“News can leak out and it gets spread about too many places. In the case of this it was the confidence of our doctor with their doctor and it shouldn't have gone any further.”
Meanwhile, United striker Wayne Rooney claims he is confused as to why United have been leaking so many goals and failing to ‘kill teams off’ at the other end.
"I can't put my finger on why we are not killing teams off," explained the Englishman.
In team news, Ashley Young has returned to full fitness and will be available for selection by the manager for United’s clash with Everton this weekend at Old Trafford.
Phil Jones is also expected to return to the squad, along with Michael Carrick and as of this evening all of United’s internationals have returned to training this morning in one piece and are available.
Everton have serious doubts over the fitness of both Phil Jagielka and Marouane Fellaini heading into Sunday’s game. Tony Hibbert and young Seamus Coleman are also likely to be sidelined.
"We were 4-2 up with seven or eight minutes to go. It was unexpected and we have to anticipate the unexpected in the run-in. That was a bad blow for us and it cost us the league,” admitted the manager.
Meanwhile defender Jonny Evans is looking forward to Sunday’s clash with the Toffees. He told ManUtd.com,
"We have been here before," he explained.
"Last season, it was eight points and we let it out of our grasp. We have to make sure we pick up the three points against Everton and then go into the Champions League game which is coming into play.”
Shinji Kagawa is looking to challenge for his place in the first team and told the club’s official website he sets high standards for himself and wants to improve at his new club:
“I’m in a fantastic environment, training everyday with top players. At the same time, being with a big club like Manchester United, I know we are always expected to win trophies, which I haven’t accomplished yet. All I can do is work hard every day.”
In transfer news, Stoke coach Tony Pulis has warned United that it would take an ‘enormous’ bid to secure the services of Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
Pulis revealed to ESPN,
"If Manchester United or someone else came in and offered an enormous amount of money for Asmir, we would have to think about it. But I haven't brought Butland in for that reason."
Meanwhile The Express reports that United will face competition from Liverpool who intend to go ‘toe-to-toe’ with the league leaders in the race to sign Ajax playmaker Christian Eriksen.
United have reportedly confirmed their interest in signing Montenegro striker Mirko Vucinic, according to Sky Sports.
Finally, Chelsea and England veteran Frank Lampard is reportedly open to a move to United as Chelsea have refused to offer the 34-year-old a new contract, despite his current deal expiring at the end of the season.
The Daily Star is reporting that Lampard has already been in touch with United, along with AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, and LA Galaxy amongst other clubs to discuss the possibility of a move.
image: © marcel sigg