Darren Fletcher has been ruled out for the rest of the season after his bowel problem recurred and he had to undergo surgery. The Scot had fought back from his illness to play first team football this season, after missing most of 2011/12, but the news is a bitter blow to club and player.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has stated his belief that veteran midfielder Ryan Giggs will still be playing for the club next season, despite the fact that he will be 40 years of age this November.
“He will play for another year,” Ferguson told MUTV.
The manager also dismissed the suggestion that striker Robin van Persie makes United a ‘one-man team’.
"I don't go along with the idea we have become a one-man team," the boss explained.
"Chicharito has weighed in with 12 goals while Wayne Rooney is currently on nine.”
Ferguson also admitted his team will have to improve their penalty taking after Wayne Rooney missed yet again from the spot against West Ham in their 1-0 midweek FA Cup replay victory.
“We have to improve. We can't just say it's one of those things," said the Scot.
West Ham boss Sam Allardyce spoke after his side’s exit from the competition, accusing referees of favouring United. He said,
"With Rafael, the ball hits his hand but no penalty is given. With Jordan Spence, the ball hits his hand and it's a penalty. You see it time and time again at Old Trafford.”
Ferguson took the opportunity after the game to praise the defensive efforts of Phil Jones and Chris Smalling for their part in United’s clean sheet.
“The two of them were absolutely marvellous and I couldn’t be more pleased,” he said of the defensive duo.
In the Daily Mail, Martin Samuel has written a scathing attack on the consortium of Premier League clubs who are currently pushing for the spending regulations (FFP) to be introduced that would see clubs have to ‘break even’ on over a rolling three-year period.
United have sided with Arsenal, Liverpool, and Tottenham Hotspur in a quest to pressure the FA and UEFA to support the introduction and strict management of the proposed regulations.
United chief executive David Gill has insisted he believes the return of Cristiano Ronaldo to United is a ‘realistic’ possibility. Gill conceded however, in an interview with Sky Sports,
"He is a brilliant player but he is contracted for the next two-and-a-half years at Madrid.”
David Gill has confirmed Manchester United are chasing Wilfried Zaha.
The forward has been linked with all the Premier League's top clubs since emerging from the Crystal Palace academy to become a full England international this season.
According to recent reports, United have stolen a march on the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham by offering a lucrative deal which involves loaning Zaha back to Palace for the rest of the Championship campaign.
Gill would not confirm that, but the Old Trafford chief executive told Sky Sports News: "He is one of the players that we are looking at.
"That is all I will say at the moment. I've been in football long enough to say that is not done until it's done. He's one of the players we are looking at, but it is far from done."
Palace boss Ian Holloway is adamant any deal for Zaha this month must include provision for the 20-year-old to finish the season at Selhurst Park.
And Gill made it clear he would accommodate that demand, saying: "Even if we did do something with Wilfried, that would be for the summer."
Other Soccer Gossips........
Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has distanced himself from stories suggesting the Reds want to bring in Wesley Sneijder, 28, from Inter Milan.
Arsene Wenger has refused to rule out the possibility of signing Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, 25, from Napoli.
New QPR signing Loic Remy, 26, was due to visit Newcastle United on Tuesday and was offered a tour of the city while still in talks about a move to the club, but opted for a lie-in and a sightseeing tour of London before meeting officials from Loftus Road.
Marseilles are looking to replace Remy with West Ham's 26-year-old striker Modibo Maiga, who is the Hammers' joint-top scorer this season with four goals but has started only two Premier League games.
Argentine club San Lorenzo have claimed they could not afford to buy Newcastle's Fabricio Coloccini, 30, who wants to return to his home country for personal reasons.
QPR are desperate for Jose Bosingwa, 30, to leave the club this month and are willing to pay him off but the defender is reluctant to leave Loftus Road.