The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Boss blames jealousy for criticism
Sir Alex Ferguson has expressed his irritation about the way "people jumping on the bandwagon" had brought Manchester United's policy of signing young players under scrutiny and questioned whether it was based on jealousy because of the club's success at unearthing outstanding talent. "We are good at it and, obviously, it rankles with a lot of people," the United manager said. The president of Le Havre, Jean-Pierre Louvel, accused United this week of offering a house and £170,000 to the parents of a 16-year-old player, Paul Pogba, to persuade him to move to England. United have threatened Louvel with legal action and Ferguson said: "This was an accusation aimed at us by some frustrated director, and he is now going to have to retract it." Chelsea have been banned from the next two transfer windows for inducing a teenager to break his contract with Lens and United's dealings have also caused consternation at Fiorentina, who have written to Fifa about the Premier League champions' signing of a 16-year-old Italian defender, Michele Fornasier. "They [other clubs] are always going to bring Manchester United into it because we are the biggest club, but they do it without any foundation, or knowledge about the situation whatsoever," Ferguson said. "There are a lot of people jumping on the bandwagon, but I can assure you that Manchester United behave absolutely correctly in all their dealings with young players and their parents."
Daniel Taylor, The Guardian
In other news, Times journalist Matt Hughes predicts United duo Michael Carrick and Michael Owen may struggle to make England's World Cup squad. Meanwhile, United legend Bryan Robson is in talks with Thailand to become their new boss, replacing fellow ex-England midfielder Peter Reid.
Ahead of the Reds' visit to White Hart Lane on Saturday, Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is hopeful defender Sebastien Bassong will be fit to play.