Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson insists striker Wayne Rooney will not be leaving the club despite speculation over his future this week.
"He will be here next year, you have my word on that. There is no issue between myself and Wayne Rooney. To suggest we don't talk is nonsense. He understood the reasons completely,” explained the manager.
Manchester United fan groups have reportedly backed the manager’s decision to leave the Englishman on the bench for the majority of their defeat to Real Madrid on Tuesday night with some even claiming ‘letting him go’ might be the best option for the club.
"We always back Sir Alex Ferguson's judgment in the end and, if he did decide to let him go, then that's probably the right decision in the best interest of the club,” revealed Duncan Drasdo, chief executive of the Manchester United Supporters’ Trust.
Meanwhile BBC pundit Robbie Savage has urged Rooney to stay at Old Trafford to fight for his place and prove he is “one of the best players in the world.”
Ferguson attended his pre-match press conference today, ahead of United’s FA Cup sixth round clash with Chelsea this weekend.
Ferguson admitted his faith in the officiating of the game had been tested by referee Cuneyt Cakir’s decision to send Nani off against Real Madrid which likely lost them the game and the tie.
"It is hard to keep your faith when you have things like that. It's the third time we've been knocked out by a referee decision,” said the Scot.
Ferguson also looked forward to the weekend and insisted the team owe the fans a good performance against the Blues.
“It is my job to galvanise the troops, who were fantastic on Tuesday and so were the fans. We owe them a good performance on Sunday,” he said.
In team news, Phil Jones is still unavailable due to his ankle injury, Paul Scholes has yet to recover from his knee injury and Darren Fletcher remains out with illness.
De Gea – Vidic – Evans – Rafael – Evra – Carrick – Cleverley – Rooney – Valencia – Kagawa – Van Persie
And Chelsea’s expected line-up is:
Cech – Cahill – Luiz – Cole – Ivanovic – Mikel – Ramires – Mata – Hazard – Moses - Ba
I transfer news, The Express reports that United could make a ‘sensational swoop’ for Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer.
However, reports suggest they would face competition from Juventus for the Swedish PSG striker.
Meanwhile United striker Federico Macheda claims he is ready to return to his former club Lazio after falling down the pecking order at Old Trafford.
“I left Lazio when I was very young,” the Italian said.
“I’d like to go back there one day.”
In other news, United legends Gary Neville and Nicky But participated in a celebrity dance competition for charity called ‘Dancing with United. On Thursday evening.
Elsewhere, Jose Mourinho’s former assistant at Chelsea has backed the Portuguese boss to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as manager at United, despite the Real Madrid manager’s victory over United with Real Madrid this week.
"When you look at his track record and the clubs he has been at, it is one of the clubs he could manage," said the West Brom boss.
United have topped the tables again – this time with their social media might. United dominate social networking sights Twitter and Facebook with their two million followers and 30 million ‘likes’.
Finally, a Manchester United fan was spared a court penalty as the judge felt he’d suffered enough (after the Madrid defeat on Tuesday).
District Judge Barney McElholm made his comments in a case when a man charged with disorderly behaviour did not show up for a hearing at Londonderry Magistrates Court.
"He has suffered enough and it's not for me to add to his misery,” said McElholm.
image: © Nasmac