Ferguson delighted at new Scholes deal

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted that the only negatives surrounding a deal to re-sign midfielder Paul Scholes have come from the press. Scholes signed for United until the end of the season, despite retiring from football in the summer, and made his debut in the 3-2 FA Cup third round victory against Manchester City last weekend.

United striker Wayne Rooney admitted that he knew nothing about the deal until Scholes’ shirt was hung up in the dressing room. Ferguson himself was unsure how United managed to keep the signing of the veteran midfielder a secret, but did the deal after Scholes told the United boss he believed he could play again. The United manager had no qualms with signing the 37 year old and revealed that they only kept the deal a secret, because of the impact it would have before the Manchester derby.

Ferguson said: ‘Somehow, we managed to keep it quiet and we did not let any of the players know. We did that simply because of the impact value. We are going away from home in a very difficult F Cup tie with Manchester City and when the 5,000 fans in the away end of the ground knew he was on the team sheet, they were fantastic, the response was great. He only stopped playing seven months ago and he has been training all the time with the reserves, coaching and training, so his fitness levels have been decent’.

The United boss also slated the members of the press who have called the move a regressive step. Ferguson explained that they signed Scholes, an experienced player who knows the club for 20 years, on a free deal because he is one of the best passers around and the most composed player in the Premier League. Scholes is in line for a start against Bolton at Old Trafford this weekend after his impressive substitute performance against Manchester City, where he made more passes than the rest of the City midfielders and had a 97% completion.

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