Club Focus – Manchester United – Ferdinand could make Arsenal game

Rio Ferdinand has given Manchester United a boost ahead of Monday’s clash with Arsenal at Old Trafford by saying his substitution in Tuesday’s Champions League game against Valencia was a precaution. The defender was moving uneasily before being taken off with a tweaked hamstring five minutes into the second-half, but says that it was a measure taken before any serious damage was done. With the top of the table clash moved to Monday night for television coverage it gives the England captain an extra couple of days recovery time, which, given his recent injury record, can not do any harm for Ferdinand’s hopes of being fully fit.

In other injury news the possibility of Paul Scholes playing in Monday’s game is “doubtful” according to his manager Sir Alex Ferguson. Scholes has not played since picking up a groin injury in November’s victory against Rangers at Ibrox. He had been training on his own at the start of the week to build up his fitness but had a relapse, which has seemingly ruled him out of the Arsenal game. Owen Hargreaves has been sent to Germany and ruled out for a further eight-weeks after a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury that was picked up six minutes into his first start for over two years.

With Scholes looking likely to miss the Arsenal game and Darren Fletcher still trying to reach full-fitness it looks likely that Anderson will continue in central midfield after playing well since his return from injury, scoring a rare goal in his last outing. Sir Alex Ferguson said: “Anderson has been absolutely brilliant in the last three games.” The Brazilian was one of the few United performers who came away from the teams Carling Cup demolition at the hands of West Ham with credibility and it appears his manager is seeing him getting back to the high standards he showed in his first season with the club. The game against Arsenal is Anderson’s chance to leave his manager in no doubt that he is capable of becoming a player that United’s first team can not be without.

On Manchester United’s ownership front it has been revealed by Andy Green on his blog – www.andersred.blogspot.com, that two of the Glazer family’s UK holding companies filed documents today stating that the companies are now authorised to issue new shares. They were dated November 22, 2010 which was the day it was revealed that the £243m PIK (Payment in kind) debt was repaid. If the Glazer family didn’t pay the PIK debt with their own money, or money taken out of the club it is possible that a third party has provided the finance. If this is the case, then there is the question of who has provided the money and, more to the point, is it money that has been borrowed against the club or a new investor?

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