Phil Jones remains a serious doubt for Manchester United's home match with Real Madrid next week. The Guardian report Jones has still not resumed training, although United's medical staff still hold a small glimmer of hope he could yet recover.
The FA are set to launch an official investigation in to a number of incidents which took place during Monday evening’s U21 Premier League fixture between Liverpool and Manchester United youngsters.
One fan ran on to the pitch and there were reports of flares being set off both in the stands and on the pitch following abuse directed at Liverpool youngster Adam Morgan.
Meanwhile United’s senior team captain Nemanja Vidic has stated he is ready to lead United to a treble after overcoming a succession of injuries this season.
"After I had surgery, I knew we'd have to manage the knee and then after that it would be normal again,” explained the centre-back.
United forward Danny Welbeck insists he too is readying himself for a busy March with United.
"I think the whole squad has got that into their heads and we've all got the same mentality of going into the next game and needing to win to gain momentum,” he told MUTV.
"Once we come to the Real Madrid game, we'll see what happens. It will be good not to have to travel anywhere for the next four matches in a row and we can try to get wins in every single game.”
Veteran teammate Paul Scholes described him recently as a ‘Rolls-Royce’ of a player, to which Carrick responded,
“Scholesy is a legend and he is always going to be one.”
Whilst fears over Robin van Persie’s fitness have subsided since the weekend, it is expected that manager Sir Alex Ferguson will rest the Dutch striker for this weekend’s clash with Norwich City as the boss intends to take a cautious approach with the second leg of their Champions League tie with Real Madrid coming up.
However, the Manchester Evening News claims the sensational form of 39-year-old Ryan Giggs is giving Ferguson something of a ‘selection headache’.
The player himself explained:
“It is a headache for the manager but a good one,” said Giggs.
“We are not looking too far ahead and we are not getting too excited. But we are in good form and the manager has a big squad to choose from, which allows him to chop and change and that is all you can ask for at this stage.”
Giggs and veteran teammate Scholes have given between them 48 years of service to the club as we have assessed in our comparison of the United duo.
Meanwhile, The Mirror’s David McDonnel asserts his belief that Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini was ‘wrong and absurd’ to describe United’s 12-point lead in the Premier League as ‘lucky’.
At Chelsea, John Obi Mikel conceded that the title is now a ‘one horse race’. He told The Sun,
"It's a one-horse race. To be realistic, I don't think anyone will be putting money on us or City to win this title."
Elsewhere, Real Madrid manager Jose Mourinho has served a ‘warning’ to United ahead of their trip to Old Trafford that his personal future depends on the fixture.
“We are coming for you,” he is quoted as saying in the Manchester Evening News.
In transfer news, the rumour-mill continues to link Burak Yilmaz with a move to Old Trafford in the summer.
There is also continued speculation that Real Madrid and former United star Cristiano Ronaldo could seal a move back to Old Trafford.
The Express reports that United will face competition from Paris Saint-Germain is they intend to sign ‘target’ Real Madrid maestro Angel Di Maria from Los Blancos.
The Express also claims that United target Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski has decided on his next move – his agent spilled the beans on his intentions not to sign a new contract this week with the Bundesliga champions.
Meanwhile reports have surfaced that United will hand contract rebel Nani a £90,000-a-week ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ contract ultimatum.
In other news, Manchester United FC have ‘crashed down’ the UK’s Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) league table from first place to 488th.
image: © gordonflood.com