The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
In the Yorkshire Post, Leeds legend Peter Lorimer admits United's deal to sign Alan Smith saved our rivals from across the Pennines. Smith will be jeered by the Elland Road faithful at a friendly on Sunday but former director Lorimer has set the record straight about the 2004 deal. "It really is important to state once again that the move to Old Trafford was more for the benefit of Leeds United than it was for the benefit of Alan Smith. The crux of the matter was only one club were willing to pay the entire fee up front and pay it immediately. That club were Manchester United. The point is that it was made clear to him that Leeds United - his team, don’t forget - would gain most from him signing for Manchester United. If criticism is due then perhaps it should be aimed at those of us who were on the board. We owe him a great deal for his performances and for a transfer which helped to keep the club afloat in the hardest of times. That might not please people to hear, but it’s the truth."
Gary Neville has been interviewed in The Daily Mail and supports Sir Alex's unique way of looking after his stars. "Sometimes, in the media, it is questioned, the way he protects his players. But they are his people. He looks after them."