Barcelona to open football academy in India soon

The best football club in the world at present, FC Barcelona of Spain is all set to open its first football academy in India to nurture local talent and, hopefully, give the world another Lionel Messi in the next 5 years or so. The Catalans have tied up with Delhi-based Conscient Football and their (Barcelona’s ) football nursery FCBEscoles will be conducting camps at the Heritage School in Gurgaon to train kids in the age-group of 6-14 years.

“We don’t promise to create a Messi here. This is a social project and we want to support India. We have to go step by step.” – FCBscoles director Xevi Marce said.

This is really good news for football lovers in India. Many Barclays Premier League / English Premier League teams are opening academies in India and now the Spanish giants too are entering the land of customs. This shows that India has a lot of talent and it just needs expert guidance to produce world class players who will go on to represent their country and also someday make a mark in European club football.

BREAKING: Manchester United Veteran Gary Neville announces retirement with immediate effect

Veteran English right back, Gary Neville has announced his retirement from professional football with immediate effect. He will retire from football after 20 years playing at Manchester United.

Gary signed for United in July 1991 and was part of the famous Class of ’92 that won the FA Youth Cup in 1992. He then became a first-team regular alongside his teammates from that side, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, his brother Philip and David Beckham.

In his time at Old Trafford, Gary has played 602 games, scoring seven goals.  He has won the Champions League, eight Premier League trophies, three FA Cups, two League Cups, the Intercontinental Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.  He became United club captain in 2005.

Gary won 85 caps for England between 1995 and 2007, playing in two World Cups (1998 and 2006) and three European Championships (1996, 2000 and 2004).

Neville, who turns 36 this month, made the decision after much consideration. He said:

“I have been a Manchester United fan all my life and fulfilled every dream I’ve ever had. Obviously I am disappointed that my playing days are at an end, however it comes to us all, and it’s knowing when that time is and for me that time is now. I have played in the most incredible football teams, playing with some of the best players in the world as well as against them and I have been lucky to have been part of the team’s achievements and the club’s great success.

“There are so many people I want to thank and, of course, top of that list is Sir Alex. He has given me so many opportunities and countless support over the last 20 years – he is truly one of the greatest managers – and I have to thank him for that.

“There have also been so many great players that I have had the privilege to train and play alongside. The experiences we’ve shared will be with me for the rest of my life. Also, I’d like to thank all the coaches I have played under from youth level right through to now, who have guided me through my playing days. And finally, the fans, who have always shown me unbelievable support. They know how special they are to me and this club.

“I am looking forward to new experiences and the club will always be a part of my life going forward. However, the most important thing now is for the club to continue with the success that is synonymous with Manchester United and I will be supporting them all the way, as a fan.”

Meanwhile, Sir Alex Ferguson said:

“Gary was the best English right back of his generation.  He is an example to any young professional; hard-working, loyal and intelligent. As a United fan born and bred, his fantastic career at Old Trafford has cemented his place in the affection of the club’s supporters everywhere.

“His impact on the club in general has been huge; his presence in the dressing room and leadership qualities have been an asset to me as a manager. All the young players who have sought his advice on many matters, particularly on contract issues owe him a great debt.

“As a young boy he had the will and determination to succeed as a footballer and that character remained with him throughout his career. That’s the legacy he leaves every young player at Manchester United.”

Reds chief executive David Gill said:

“Gary has been a great servant to the club and we thank him for his loyalty and his contribution to the tremendous success we have enjoyed in his playing time here. I know from my many dealings with him over the years that he’s always had the club’s best interests at heart. So, while this illustrious chapter in his career has finished, his experience, commitment and energy will ensure he will continue to play a part in the life of the club, whether on the coaching or the commercial side.”

Our best wishes are with Gary – a true servant of Manchester United!

Via ManUtd Official Website

January Transfers 2011: Confirmed Deals

There’s been quite a lot of transfer activity during this winter transfer window in January, with many high profile moves to take note of. With a lot of time (approx 5 hours) still left for the transfer window to shut close, we bring you the deals which are already done and dusted:

  • Bhoys (Celtic) seal Ljungberg deal
  • Stoke have finally got their man after landing Jermaine Pennant on a permanent deal from Real Zaragoza
  • Japan international Hajime Hosogai is set to join Bayer Leverkusen after agreeing terms with the Bundesliga club
  • Out-of-favour Bordeaux striker David Bellion has rejoined former employers Nice on loan
  • Championship club Norwich City have signed striker Aaron Wilbraham for an undisclosed fee from League One side MK Dons
  • Defender Havard Nordtveit has departed Arsenal to join Borussia Monchengladbach for an undisclosed fee
  • Queens Park Rangers confirmed the signing of Norway international Petter Vaagan Moen
  • Manchester City have signed Israeli international midfielder Gai Assulin on a two-and-a-half year deal after the 19-year-old left Barcelona
  • Hull City have finalised the signing of Peterborough United striker Aaron Mclean for an undisclosed fee
  • Atletico Madrid have confirmed the capture of Brazil midfielder Elias from Corinthians
  • Celtic have confirmed the signing of former Arsenal midfielder Freddie Ljungberg on a free transfer
  • Hartlepool United have extended the loan deal of Blackburn Rovers goalkeeper Jake Kean by a further month
  • Danny Spiller has committed his future to Gillingham by signing a new 18-month contract with the League Two club
  • Arsenal Football Club is delighted to confirm that Japanese forward Ryo Miyaichi will be joining the Club in January 2011
  • Wigan Athletic have completed the signing of Spanish defender Adrian Lopez
  • Manchester United is delighted to announce it has reached agreement with Aalesunds FK to sign Danish international goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard on a 3½ year deal for an undisclosed fee
  • Hull City have finalised the signing of striker Matty Fryatt from Championship rivals Leicester City for a fee of £1.2million
  • Preston North End have extended the loan deal of Burnley defender Leon Cort until 23rd January
  • Leeds United chairman Ken Bates has confirmed on-loan Andy O’Brien has agreed to join the club on a permanent basis
  • Leicester City have snapped up Manchester City youngster Ben Mee on loan for the remainder of the season
  • Out-of-favour Bayern Munich defender Martin Demichelis has completed his transfer to Malaga
  • Beşiktaş bring in Simão from Atlético
  • Beşiktaş bolster further with Hugo Almeida
  • Portsmouth have completed the signing of Liam Lawrence on a permanent basis from Stoke
  • Jon Parkin is to join Cardiff on a two-and-a-half-year contract from Preston after an agreement was finalized
  • Bradford manager Peter Taylor has confirmed that Louis Moult and Lee Hendrie have left the club
  • Leicester have confirmed the signing of Sol Bamba from Scottish Premier League club Hibernian for an undisclosed fee
  • Valencia have won the race to sign France international defender Adil Rami
  • Queens Park Rangers have announced the permanent signing of Tommy Smith
  • Inter Milan have officially unveiled Andrea Ranocchia after he completed his move from Genoa
  • Bradford goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley has signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until the end of the season
  • Crystal Palace have completed the signing of former Tottenham striker Steffen Iversen
  • Federico Macheda has signed for Italian side Sampdoria on a 3 month loan
  • Manager Greg Abbott tonight confirmed that James Chester is set to sign a permanent deal with Hull City tomorrow morning
  • Malaga have confirmed the signing of Brazil international Julio Baptista from Roma on a three-and-a-half year deal
  • Preston North End have confirmed that on-loan Matty James has returned to Manchester United
  • Striker Reuben Reid has returned to parent club West Bromwich Albion after his loan spell at Walsall came to an end
  • Hatem Ben Arfa has become Newcastle boss Alan Pardew’s first signing after his season-long loan move became permanent
  • Wigan have confirmed the signing of Adrian Lopez after receiving international clearance for the Spain Under-21 defender to play in England
  • Aston Villa boss Gerard Houllier has confirmed the club have agreed a deal for Kyle Walker
  • Crystal Palace have signed young midfielder Alex Marrow from Blackburn on a permanent basis
  • Defender Eddie Nolan has signed with Scunthorpe from Preston on a permanent six-month contract
  • Rowan Vine has returned to QPR following the end of a disappointing loan spell at League One side Brentford
  • League Two outfit Barnet have completed the signing of former Portsmouth and QPR goalkeeper Liam O’Brien
  • League leaders Brighton have agreed to extend Chris Wood’s loan spell from West Brom until the end of the season
  • Oldham Athletic veteran Sean Gregan has left the League One club after having his contract terminated
  • Rochdale manager Keith Hill has moved to extend Scunthorpe goalkeeper Josh Lillis’ loan spell until February 6
  • Charlton Athletic have extended Matt Fry’s loan spell from Premier League strugglers West Ham for another month
  • Veteran winger Amantino Mancini has departed Inter Milan to join Atletico Mineiro for an undisclosed fee
  • Hull City have confirmed Anthony Gardner has agreed to stay on loan at Crystal Palace for the rest of the season
  • Middlesbrough striker Lee Miller has rejoined Notts County on loan for the rest of the season
  • Nicky Ajose has signed a new contract at Manchester United after extending his loan deal at Bury
  • Hull City have completed the signing of defender James Chester from Manchester United for an undisclosed fee
  • Sheffield Wednesday have completed the signing of defender Michael Morrison from Leicester City for an undisclosed fee
  • Shrewsbury have agreed a permanent deal for Mark Wright along with the capture of striker James Collins from Aston Villa
  • Ben Amos moves to Oldham on Loan
  • Tottenham Hotspur have signed Bongani Khumalo from South African side Supersport United on a four-and-a-half year deal
  • Juve snap up Toni on a free transfer
  • City complete Dzeko capture
  • Steve Sidwell has completed his move from Aston Villa to Fulham for an undisclosed fee
  • Birmingham have announced the signing of Tottenham midfielder David Bentley on loan until the end of the season
  • Wayne Bridge has signed for West Ham on loan until the end of the season
  • Leicester have completed the signing of Everton striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni on loan until the end of the season
  • Blackburn Rovers have signed their former striker Roque Santa Cruz on loan from Manchester City
  • Wayne Rooney’s brother Johnhas been picked by the New York Red Bulls in the second round of the Major League Soccer ‘SuperDraft’
  • Aston Villa have confirmed the signing of midfielder Jean II Makoun from Olympique Lyonnais
  • Villa confirm Bent capture
  • Tottenham signs Pienaar for 3m
  • David Wheater agrees Trotters switch
  • Kenny Miller joins Bursaspor from Rangers
  • John Carew Signs for Stoke City
  • Ba seals Hammers move
  • Van Bommel signs for Milan
  • Hoffenheim have confirmed that winger Ryan Babel has joined the club from Liverpool
  • Real Madrid have announced they have reached agreement with Manchester City for Emmanuel Adebayor to join the Spanish club on loan until the end of this season, with an option to buy in the summer
  • Switzerland international Valon Behrami has departed West Ham to link up with Serie A club Fiorentina
  • Blues Seal Obafemi Move
  • Giampaolo Pazzini joins Inter
  • Reds agree Suarez deal
  • Watford sign Manchester United midfielder Drinkwater on loan
  • Sunderland have signed Benin midfielder Stephane Sessegnon from French club Paris St Germain
  • Sunderland have signed Inter Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari on loan until the end of the season
  • 23-year-old Aston Villa midfielder Isaiah Osbourne has gone to Sheffield Wednesday on loan for the remainder of the season
  • Paulo Da Silva >>  Sunderland to Real Zaragoza
  • Paul Konchesky >> Liverpool to Nottingham Forest >> loan
  • Daniel Ayala >> Liverpool to Derby County >> loan
  • Maximilian Haas >> Bayern Munich II to Middlesbrough
  • Leicester have signed Nigerian striker Daniel Uchechi
  • Liverpool FC confirmed this afternoon that Newcastle United had accepted a Club record offer for the transfer of Andy Carroll

Updating…

BREAKING: Fernando Torres frustrated at Liverpool, sends in transfer request; Suarez deal completed

The last 24 hours have certainly been a mixed bag for Liverpool football club. From news of rejecting Chelsea’s £35million bid for Torres, to news of finally signing Luis Suarez, the red half of Merseyside was happy indeed when ultimately some harsh reality struck them – Torres handed in a transfer request.

Kenny Dalglish made his first signing of the January transfer window with a deal for Ajax Amsterdam striker Luis Suarez finally sealed. However, the iconic manager had to deal with the negative news that his chief striker, Torres wants the club to consider Chelsea’s massive bid for him seriously.

Suarez Signs for the Reds

Liverpool’s long pursuit of Ajax forward Luis Suarez is finally over after they agreed a deal worth up to £22.8million with the Dutch club.

The 24-year-old has yet to pass a medical and agree personal terms but those two issues are unlikely to be stumbling blocks.

Having argued over the Uruguay international’s value for some time, Liverpool’s owners Fenway Sports Group have sanctioned their first major signing since buying the club in October.

Chelsea’s Torres bid rejected

The club yesterday revealed they had turned down a bid of £35million for Torres from Chelsea and had no intention of selling their star striker as they see him as a key part of their plan to turn things around.

In the wake of that bid there have been suggestions Torres was angling for a move to Stamford Bridge, but the player has never once spoken about leaving Anfield.

The furthest the 26-year-old has gone is in calling for the club to prove to him his long-term future lies at Anfield by bringing in better players to bolster the squad.

The Shock

Chelsea have made a £40million offer for Liverpool’s star striker Fernando Torres- and the Spaniard wants to leave.

According to reports in the Sun, the World Cup winner has announced to the Anfield hierarchy that he wants to leave the club.

Quotes referenced by a Liverpool source in the reports said: “Unfortunately Fernando has decided he wants to leave Liverpool.

“It is a very sad day for all of us, but now we have to wait and see what the club decides.

“It is clear this is the last thing Kenny Dalglish expected although it has been clear for some time that Torres’ patience has run out.”

Further reports from SunSport indicated that Torres could put in a transfer request or announce his intentions via the media very soon, but is waiting for his representatives to looks at all possibilities before publicising his intentions.

It is believed that Chelsea will offer him wages on par with John Terry and Frank Lampard, which would mean wages of £150,000 a week, an increase from the £110,000 a week he gets at Anfield.

However, according to reports in the Daily Mail, Liverpool’s owners, the Fenway Sports Group, are determined to reject Chelsea and hold on to Torres.

Owner John Henry will be aware that Liverpool fans will be upset at the loss of the star, and even captain Steven Gerrard would be forced to reconsider his future at the club with such a clear sign of a lack of ambition.

Question marks remain if Chelsea can tie up a deal for the player before the transfer window closes on Monday, and much will rest of what Torres decides to do next.

Via EspnStar

David Beckham to train with Tottenham Hotspur; Loan move on the cards now?

David Beckham will train with Tottenham’s first-team squad on Tuesday after completing a series of medical tests at the club.

Beckham underwent several fitness tests and met the club’s medical staff at the training complex in Chigwell, Essex, and sported a Tottenham tracksuit as he left the building.

The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder will begin a four-week training schedule with the north Londoners tomorrow as he looks to maintain his fitness during the MLS close season and prove to Fabio Capello that he deserves an England recall.

While the sight of Beckham in club apparel may have raised Tottenham fans’ hopes of seeing the star play for the club, negotiations over a loan deal for him have so far failed.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp yesterday morning claimed a deal looked like a “no-goer”, but appeared to go back on that statement by insisting that a loan “could still happen” after watching his side beat Charlton 3-0 to earn an FA Cup fourth round tie at Fulham.

It is believed Spurs are unwilling to pay the percentage of Beckham’s wages the Galaxy are demanding but both parties still could come to an agreement for the 35-year-old, who last turned out for an English club in Manchester United’s final match of the 2002-03 season.

Beckham smiled and waved to the cameras as they caught glimpses of the former Real Madrid man during his six-hour stay at the Chigwell complex, which was broken up by an hour’s worth of tests at a local hospital.

He did not speak to the masses of camera crews and photographers who had assembled to meet him, but Spurs coach Tim Sherwood briefly stopped to tell reporters he had spoken to Beckham and that he was in favour of the star joining the club on loan.

“He’s a great ambassador for the country. Good luck to him,” Sherwood said.

“He’s welcome to come and train with the club. If he eventually starts to play for us then that would be good. It’s a complex situation.”

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp hopes Beckham’s arrival will help the development of the several young players at Tottenham.

Teenage winger Andros Townsend, who scored on his debut in yesterday’s 3-0 win, cannot wait to link up with one of his boyhood idols at tomorrow morning’s training session.

“It would be a massive boost for any youngster to have someone who is probably England’s best ever player training with them,” said Townsend, who now wants to go out on loan to gain more experience.

“He is one of my idols. He can teach me a lot. He could teach anyone in English football a lot.

“He is an amazing player and he has had a fantastic career.”

Beckham’s advisers today rejected West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady’s claim that Spurs were only trying to sign Beckham as a PR stunt to help the north Londoners beat the Hammers in their bid to move to the London Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games.

Brady wrote in her Sun newspaper column on Saturday: “Call me cynical but I smell a rat in the ‘Beckham for Spurs’ reports.

“They may feel he could help their rival bid to ours for the Olympic Stadium.

“The link is this: LA Galaxy is owned by Philip Anschutz – whose company AEG is Tottenham’s partner in their stadium bid.

“I admire Beckham as a football champion and I’d hate to see him being used as puppet for AEG.”

A Beckham spokesperson denied those claims today, saying: “We would never get involved in anything like that.”

Via: EspnStar

Indian poultry giant “Venky’s” to complete Blackburn Rovers’ takeover within 30 days

The takeover of English Premier League side Blackburn Rovers by Indian poultry giant Venky’s is expected to be completed within the next month. The deal with the Venkateshwara Hatcheries Group should see Blackburn become the first Barclays Premier League club to be bought by an Indian company.

Venky’s chairperson Anuradha J Desai said in a statement: “We expect to be the first Indian company to acquire a Premier League team and we are particularly delighted that the team is Blackburn Rovers, with whom we believe we have many shared values and ambitions.”

Blackburn chairman John Williams added: “A series of meetings, including discussions with the Premier League, have followed an extensive due diligence process.

“Both parties are hopeful that the transaction will be completed in November.”

Venky’s have been one of a number of companies who have gone through the process of due diligence and inspected the club’s accounts.

The Jack Walker Trust put Blackburn up for sale two years ago in the hope of attracting buyers willing to invest in the club, but Venky’s is the first company to have satisfied club chiefs about their future intentions.

It is believed that international sports agency Kentaro, which specialises in selling international TV rights to football, could also be involved in the new ownership structure.

Venky’s were the third Indian company to have considered a takeover following businessmen Saurin Shah and Ahsan Ali Syed, whose moves for the club failed to materialise into anything concrete.

Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce has warned that investment is vitally needed.

Allardyce said last week: “I think it’s necessary there is a conclusion because it does leave the club in limbo.

“Investment is needed in every football club and recently that investment has dried up because the club is up for the sale and the Trust wanted to move it on.

“If it goes on any longer and you don’t get any investment it becomes a very dangerous and precarious situation. It needs investment to stay in this league, never mind achieving success.”

Venky’s are established as Asia’s largest poultry group and have an annual turnover of £1billion, last year recording a profit of £118million.

The group is now run by the founder’s 47-year-old daughter Anuradha Desai, who recently told Business Line of her approach to business, saying: “You have to invest in building up relationships with people, give them the freedom to work towards goals and when you spend time with them and understand them, they are ready to put in their best for you, be it man or woman.

“You can’t hold a stick and frighten anybody into working for you.

“Instead, if you sit with them and work with them, you can be assured of results.”

Via EspnStar

Wayne Rooney signs new 5 year deal at Manchester United, silences haters and rivals alike

Football is funny game. And more funny are instances that make you laugh it out in the end. In a sensational u-turn after a dramatic weekend, which suggested Rooney has all but walked out on Manchester United, the England forward has surprised the world (not Jose Mourinho, of course), and signed a new 5 year deal that will keep him at Old Trafford till 2015.

Official from Manchester United:

____________________________________________________________________________________

Rooney is staying

Wayne Rooney has agreed a new five-year contract to stay at Manchester United until at least June 2015.

The agreement follows intensive discussions between the Club and the player’s representatives and means that by the end of his contract Wayne will have been a Manchester United player for 11 years.

Sir Alex Ferguson said: “It’s been a difficult week, but the intensity of the coverage is what we expect at Manchester United.  I said to the boy that the door is always open and I’m delighted Wayne has agreed to stay.

“Sometimes, when you’re in a club, it can be hard to realise just how big it is and it takes something like the events of the last few days to make you understand.  I think Wayne now understands what a great club Manchester United is.

“I’m pleased he has accepted the challenge to guide the younger players and establish himself as one of United’s great players. It shows character and belief in what we stand for.

“I’m sure everyone involved with the Club will now get behind Wayne and show him the support he needs to produce the performances we know he is capable of.”

Wayne Rooney said: “I’m delighted to sign another deal at United.  In the last couple of days, I’ve talked to the Manager and the owners and they’ve convinced me this is where I belong.  I said on Wednesday the Manager’s a genius and it’s his belief and support that have convinced me to stay.

“I’m signing a new deal in the absolute belief that the management, coaching staff, board and owners are totally committed to making sure United maintains its proud winning history – which is the reason I joined the Club in the first place.

“I’m sure the fans over the last week have felt let down by what they’ve read and seen.  But my position was from concern over the future.  The fans have been brilliant with me since I arrived and it’s up to me through my performances to win them over again.”

BREAKING: Sir Alex confirms Wayne Rooney is leaving

Yesterday we informed you that Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United career seems to be over after reports in the British media suggested the 24 year old wanted out. Few renowned faces also tried calming the youngster down, telling him to learn a thing or two from Indian Legend Sachin Tendulkar. But nothing seems to have worked as the Old Trafford Faithfuls’ worst nightmare has been realized, with Sir Alex Ferguson himself conceding defeat in an attempt to keep the England forward at his disposal. Here’s SAF’s interview with MUTV:

___________________________________________________________________________

After all we’ve heard and read, it would be interesting to hear your point of view. Let’s start with where it all began and the question of was Wayne injured?

Yes, he was injured. We sent him for a scan and while he was able to train, he was still carrying traces of his injury. Why he was saying he wasn’t injured, you can only guess yourself. It’s disappointing. When it came to the Sunderland game, I felt I would leave him out and give him a complete break so he could be fit for England. I thought if he went and played for England, at Wembley, we would get his form back. That was my intention, that was my idea, to galvanise him. Take a break from the games, get the training done, get his fitness back. Get rid of the traces of the ankle injury away and play for England. So why he’s come out and said that, I’ve no idea.

Have you fallen out?

We’ve never had any argument, not a bit. I think you have to understand the mechanics of these situations when people want to leave the club. It’s an easy one to say he’s fallen out with the manager, a very easy one to say. I think there are traces of that too.

We’re now hearing that he doesn’t want to sign a new contract. What is the situation with his contract negotiations?

That is true. David, in the early part of the summer, had opened talks with his agent. And that was to be continued after the World Cup. I was in the office on August 14 when David told me he’d had a call from his agent saying that Wayne wasn’t going to sign his contract. So then David came across to see me. He said he couldn’t believe it and neither could I. I was dumbfounded, I couldn’t understand it at all because only months before he’d said he was at the biggest club in the world and he wanted to stay for life. We just don’t know what’s changed the boy’s mind. David was shocked, I was shocked.

I had a meeting with the boy and he reiterated what his agent had said. He wanted to go. I said to him, ‘Just remember one thing: respect this club.’ I don’t want any nonsense from you, respect your club. What we’re seeing now in the media is disappointing because we’ve done everything we can for Wayne Rooney, since the minute he’s come to the club. We’ve always been there as a harbour for him. Any time he’s been in trouble, the advice we’ve given him – I’ve even been prepared to give him financial advice, many times. But you do that for your players, not just Wayne Rooney. That’s Manchester United. This is a club which bases all its history and its tradition on the loyalty and trust between managers and players and the club. That goes back to the days of Sir Matt. That’s what it’s founded on. Wayne’s been a beneficiary of this help, just as Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and all the players have been. That’s what we’re there for. There’s been no falling out. That’s why we need to clarify the situation now for our fans. Because what we saw on Saturday was unacceptable. When we were at 2-2 and the fans were chanting for Wayne Rooney, it put pressure on the players and it didn’t do any good for the team. So we’ve got to clarify the situation and try to do it right. There’s no [specific] offer on the table for Wayne [at the moment] because they’re not prepared to listen to an offer. But there’s always an offer there for Manchester United to negotiate with a player. That’s still there.
Are you personally disappointed?

Yes, I’m disappointed, very disappointed, I can’t believe it. When you manage Manchester United, there is always something you have to deal with. We’ve had to deal with these situations over the years. There is a disappointment a lot of the time when you have to deal with modern-day players. It’s not as easy as it was many, many years ago when you were negotiating a contract because then the player had to depend and trust on the manager he worked for. And as a manager, you had more contact with the parents then as well. Yesterday I said to Edwin who made that mistake on Saturday, ‘Well, how are you feeling?’ He said the first phone call he’d received was from his father. I said, ‘Well listen to him, he’s the one you should listen to.’ But that’s gone now. We’re dealing with agents who live in the pockets of players. We live in a different world now and we have to deal with it in a different way. It’s a pity but it’s there and we have to deal with it.

What would be your message to the fans?

The message is that they have to trust Manchester United. If you look at the history of our club over the last 50 years, at the amount of trophies we’ve won, the honour we’ve received, the recognition we’ve got, the respect we’ve got from around the world, the admiration we’ve had from everywhere. We’ve produced more players than any other club in the country for England. It’s a fantastic history and we should always remember that. You have setbacks, we have some blips at times. Last year for instance, we could have created history by winning the league for the fourth time in a row. It had never been done. We lost it by a point. That doesn’t tell us this team is falling apart or anything like that. What it always represents is the next step forward. How do we challenge? That’s Manchester United. You can’t continually win everything every year. But when you have the little blips, we have the structure, we have the management staff to deal with that in order to get us back into line again.
Is the door still open if Wayne changes his mind?

Of course. David’s prepared to offer the best terms possible for any player in the country. We realise and recognise the quality of the player, that’s why negotiations were started early summer, two years before his contract was up, to extend that contract. And also extend at the behest of the player itself. He said he wanted to stay for life. We were honouring that request from Wayne to stay at the club, at the club he loved. He said the best thing he’d ever done was to sign for Manchester United. So David was prepared, with the discussions with our owners, to offer Wayne the best contract that anyone could have in the country.

Via Official Manchester United Website