The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Fergie calls for winter break
Sir Alex Ferguson has slammed the FA and accused them of "handicapping" England's chances of success at the World Cup by refusing to introduce a winter break. Manchester United boss Fergie believes Fabio Capello's side were doomed to fail in South Africa because they arrived there exhausted after the gruelling demands of the Premier League campaign. Three of the four World Cup semi-finalists - Germany, Holland and eventual winners Spain - have mid-season breaks and Fergie said England will continue to fall short at major tournaments until the FA do the same. "The FA has to give the country the best possible chance of doing well in the World Cup," said Fergie. "But because of the nature of our game and because of the demands from television to have a programme every week, the idea of a winter break, which I was first talking about 30 years ago in Scotland and have done since I came down to England, hasn't happened. Nothing has happened about it but they must realise that, going into the World Cup, they have handicapped their team."
David McDonnell, Daily Mirror
The manager is also widely quoted on his insistence that Wayne Rooney is still a work in progress. "The boy has got an incredible armoury of talent and what we have to do is to wait for that maturity," says Sir Alex. "The most important thing I think he needs now is maturity and, when he gets that, I think you will see the complete footballer."
The Daily Mail reports that the Mario Balotelli transfer saga is almost at an end, with Manchester City poised to edge United and Chelsea with a £23million deal. Also, The Sun credits United with a renewed interest in Germany star Mesut Ozil, whose price tag has been slashed to £12million by Werder Bremen.