But Mark Hughes also old boy of Chelski leh.....
Papers: Ron staying put
Ron: United are perfect
Cristiano Ronaldo has rubbished rumours he will join Real Madrid in the summer and said: “I’m sick of having to tell people I’m happy at United.” The brilliant Portuguese star, 23, knows the Spanish champions want to smash the world transfer record by signing him for £90million — but he is not interested. He said: “I just don’t care what the whole world seems to want to say about me or speculate about my future. I’ve said it a thousand times and, by now, people should realise . . . I’m totally happy at United. I’m in the form of my life and I’m having the season of my career so far. So it makes me mad sometimes to read some of the things which are supposed to be related to my future"
Martin Blackburn, The Sun
Carlos Queiroz responds to reports linking Ronaldo with a switch to Real Madrid, by insisting he "would not sell him for £120m euros."
Meanwhile, Sir Alex says the title is now United’s to lose. “In my experience in life you don’t take things for granted," he said. "We have three games away and one at home so we have a job to do. There’s still a lot to play for and it could still go to the wire.”
According to The Sun, Nemanja Vidic has given United a Champions League boost by returning to training. The Serb centre-back sat out three games after twisting a knee in United’s victory over Roma. But Vidic came through yesterday’s session at Carrington and is set to face Blackburn on Saturday ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final first leg in Barcelona. Striker Louis Saha could also be back on the bench at Ewood Park after a month out with a hamstring strain.
In other news, Fabio Capello says he sees Wayne Rooney as a future England captain but believes the striker still needs to develop a killer instinct in front of goal.
Round up by Gemma Thompson
Anderson: Barca is my cup final
Anderson can't wait for United's Champions League semi-final clash with Barcelona, labelling the tie the most important of his life.
The Reds travel to the Catalonian capital next Wednesday for the first leg of their last four tie, before hosting Frank Rijkaard's side at Old Trafford six days later.
Anderson, who has become an integral member of United's squad since signing last summer, is relishing the challenge of testing himself against one of the world's best teams.
"It is like a final for me," he declared. "Playing against Barcelona is the most important game of my life - it is like the final of the Champions League.
"In fact, I think it is a sort of final as we are the two teams with the best record in this season's competition."
The Brazilian midfielder says he is loving life at Old Trafford and admits he's never worked as hard in his career.
"You have to think about football 24 hours a day here," he says. "We have a great squad, but the one difference is that you work a lot more here. I have never worked so hard before as the training sessions are very tough.
"I joined United straight after playing in the Copa America with Brazil and the contrast was difficult, but that is normal. It was the same when I went to Porto. Cristiano Ronaldo has helped me a lot to adapt and others like [Patrice] Evra, [Michael] Carrick, [Wes] Brown and [Gerard] Pique have all made life easier. I'm very happy."
Boss banks on nothing
United may have a handsome lead at the top of the Premier League table, but Sir Alex Ferguson will not allow his side to become complacent with the finishing line in sight.
Chelsea unexpectedly dropped two points at home to Wigan on Monday evening, leaving them five points behind the Reds with only four games remaining, but the United manager is demanding total concentration until the season's end.
“We're in a good position, but with my experience in life you don't take things for granted,” said Sir Alex, after presenting United legend Denis Law with a Nationwide Lifetime Achievement Award.
“We've still got difficult games. We have to go to Blackburn, Chelsea and Wigan, which are three difficult away games. Because we have difficult games, there is still a lot to play for.
“Chelsea dropping points against Wigan was a bonus for us. We had a massive result against Arsenal on Sunday, so it could go to the wire. We can't take anything for granted. We could lose at Chelsea, we could lose all the games. It is a very difficult league.”
Although he is preaching caution, Sir Alex is certain his players have what it takes to retain the title, and is delighted with their enduring commitment to chasing results without sacrificing entertainment.
"Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Carlos Tevez have 72 goals between them, which is a great return for three players and shows the emphasis we put on attacking play," he said.
"We now have to do our job and the squad is capable of that, they showed that last season when we had a lot of injuries and went 2-0 down at Everton but still came back to win 4-2. If that is not a test, nothing is.
“It's been a really competitive league this season. Arsenal have had their moments and all the time when we were competing with Arsenal, Chelsea were creeping up behind us. When they beat Arsenal, I knew that they were right back in it but we just have to do our job.”
Hope Vidic recovers asap.
Tonite Everton playing Chelsea. Lets see if old boy Philip Neville can do Man Utd a favour.
Man Utd trio agree new contracts
Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Rio Ferdinand, Michael Carrick and Wes Brown have agreed new contracts with Manchester United.
Ferguson was informed of the news by chief executive David Gill this morning but the length of the deals has not been revealed.
"They have agreed new deals," said Ferguson ahead of his side's game against Blackburn.
"It continues our policy of lengthening contracts at the right time."
As well as tying three key members of his squad, Ferguson added that there could be some new arrivals at Old Trafford next season.
"We have a strong squad already and this just keeps it going," said Ferguson.
"And I would imagine there is a good possibility of stocking up again in the summer.
Today's ST reported that Man Utd are ready to spend £40m on 4 new players in the summer. The problem is all 4 players are midfielders are I dun think Fergie will sign all 4 for them. I need Man Utd need a right/left back to cover Evra/Brown/Neville.
£40m for 4 players is like Liv's budget! For Man Utd's standard, £40m can buy 2 at most 3 players!
L Saha also got no place. Sad for him but he will have French clubs to go to.
Right/left got cover in Danny Simpson and O Shea. Silvestre may stay for another season or 2. Not many players stay at Man U beyond 32/33 years old.
Manucho seems a good prospect. I wont be surprised if SAF signs another striker.
Next seaon, S Foster will challenge for the nos 1. Kuszak has deputised and he will also compete for the nos 1.
Pique is the long term replacement for Ferdinand becos both got similar style. If SAF can find another defender like Vidic, this would be very ideal.
The few weeks will be interesting.
Vida's return boosts Reds
ALamak Saha like made of paper!Nemanja Vidic is fit and will face Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park on Saturday afternoon.
That was the big team news from Sir Alex’s weekly press conference at Carrington on Friday lunchtime, followed by word that Nani will also travel with the squad and could be on the bench for the crunch Premier League fixture.
Vidic injured his knee against AS Roma on 1 April and was forced to sit out the return leg in Manchester, as well as the Reds’ league battles with Middlesbrough and Arsenal.
There was also encouraging news on Darren Fletcher, who was injured on international duty for Scotland in late March. The 24-year-old has returned to light training and is expected to resume full training on Monday.
“It’s good news,” Sir Alex said. “It’s another player back to add to the recent returns of Gary [Neville] and Mikael [Silvestre] and will give us good options."
Not all the news from the manager’s press conference was rosy, however. Midfielders Anderson and Owen Hargreaves are both slight doubts ahead of Saturday’s trip to Blackburn, although Anderson was able to train on Friday. But Louis Saha is definitely out after injuring his hamstring in training earlier this week.
"It's very disapppointing both for us and the Louis," said the boss.
Glowing report for Carrick
Fresh from agreeing a new deal with the club, Michael Carrick has received a glowing endorsement of his talents from Sir Alex Ferguson.
The 26-year-old has been one of United's stand-out performers this season and, according to his manager, has developed into a top midfielder approaching the peak of his powers.
"Michael's been a terrific buy and has had a wonderful season. We're very pleased with him," declared Sir Alex.
"When he first arrived here he didn't get in the team right away. That can sometimes happen as you saw with Nani and Anderson earlier this season. It can take time to adapt.
"But once Michael started playing alongside [Paul] Scholes it really helped him. He really matured when Scholes was out injured and he's developed very well.
"The challenge of coming to Manchester United was a good one. He's playing with a squad of really good players which always helps. And you've seen this season a player reaching the top of his game."
Sir Alex keeping calm
Sir Alex Ferguson insists there is an air of calm around the club ahead of two massive weeks which could determine United's domestic and European fate.
The Reds are within two wins of a tenth league triumph, while Barcelona lie in the wait in the Champions League semi-final, the first leg of which takes place at the Nou Camp on Wednesday night.
As he has always maintained, Sir Alex believes experience will be a vital ingredient in aiding the team's double aspirations and reckons a combination of composure and determination could make the difference during the season finale.
"At the moment we're all very relaxed - the players are, the staff are and am I," he revealed. "You get accustomed to the drama of the end of the season. There have been a lot of dramas over the years and you gain experience from that.
"We've certainly got that experience because we've been there many times. I've knocked on that door hundreds of times and so have some of my players.
"On certain occasions we've enjoyed great ends to the season and at other times we've tasted defeat in the most dramatic way such as when we lost the league to Blackburn [in 1995] by a point. We had to win at West Ham on the last day, but could only draw - I remember it well, we could have scored six!
"So many things can happen, the important thing is how you handle those things. I'm confident we can do that in the best possible way."