The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
Rio ready to shake with Terry and Cole
Rio Ferdinand will offer John Terry and Ashley Cole his hand on Sunday in an effort to smash the race war threatening to engulf English football. Ferdinand and his brother Anton issued a statement on Wednesday, calling on the FA and PFA to heal the “deep divisions exposed in English football on race”. Rio has not spoken to Terry since the Chelsea defender’s racial attack on Ferdinand’s brother Anton in a game against QPR last October and fell out with Cole after he testified in the ensuing court case in Terry’s defence. But when United visit Stamford Bridge, Rio is expected to shake hands with Cole on the pitch and the suspended Terry off it, in what he sees as a first step in healing the bitter rift. The Ferdinands have both been involved in discussions about a separate black players’ union, and more protests had been planned to reject Kick It Out this weekend across the Premier League. But, in a statement issued by New Era Management, the brothers said: “It has been a year since the incident at Loftus Road. During that time, some of the deep divisions that exist in football have been exposed. Although we have been left disappointed by the PFA and the FA’s actions over the last year, as a family, we are committed to working with football’s existing organisations towards the betterment of the game and to achieve immediate action.”
Kevin Strootman’s agent Chiel Dekker has ruled out a January move to United - but has told the Reds to contact the PSV midfielder at the end of this season. “My client could leave in January? Absolutely not,” Dekker is quoted by The Metro. “There’s nothing in that. We are only in October – the only thing I can say is to call me back in May.”
In the Daily Mail, Darren Fletcher reflects on the latest stage of his United comeback after the midfielder completed 90 minutes against Braga on Tuesday. “I think my legs are coming back. I can feel it, and I really do feel great. If you had said I would be in this position back in June or July, playing a full 90 minutes in a Champions League tie, I wouldn’t have believed you.”