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Ferguson plays down Zaha links

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson laughed off reports that he is interested in Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

Zaha has become one of the hottest commodities in world football since bursting onto the season with Palace during the 2010/11 season.

The Ivorian-born Englishman’s form this season attracted plenty of admirers, with a January move to Old Trafford the likely scenario but Ferguson played down those rumours on Friday.

“Nothing to report, I can tell you that,” said Ferguson.

“We’re in this world and its January and I know you are all getting desperate for a story but there is no story – absolutely no story to tell you.”

While he was non-committal on potential signings, Ferguson ruled Wayne Rooney out of Sunday’s mouth-watering showdown with Liverpool but said he was hopeful the star striker would return in time for United’s FA Cup replay against West Ham on Wednesday.

“I am hoping he starts training today actually and which case he won’t be far away,” he said. “I don’t think it’s an issue with having to guide him along in terms of the injury he had.

“I think it is quite straightforward so if he starts today we should have him available for Wednesday’s game.”

However, there was good news for United ahead of Sunday’s clash, with Ferguson confirming midfielders Anderson and Nani would feature on Sunday.

“Nani is back in training and I am going to include him in the squad for Sunday. Phil Jones is back, although I think Wednesday is more likely for him,” he said.

“Anderson has been training for 10 days now – he’ll be in the squad for Sunday. So all-in-all I have a healthy situation at the moment – how long that lasts I’m not so sure. But it is good to have them back.”

Ferguson also admitted that the addition of Robin van Persie to the club has proved more important than he originally perceived.

“I don’t think we appreciated the full use of him (Robin van Persie) and I think we are now,” he said.

“We are more acquainted with the type of player he is and that is helping us – there is no question about that – and he has become really important to us.”

Fri 11 Jan, 2013
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