The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.
No rest for Rooney ahead of Real Madrid
Wayne Rooney is set to face Norwich City at Old Trafford on Saturday with Sir Alex Ferguson aiming to boost the Manchester United forward’s fitness ahead of next week’s Champions League last-16 decider against Real Madrid. Ferguson is expected to make wholesale changes to his team for the visit of Chris Hughton’s side in order to safeguard the fitness of his planned starting line-up against Real three days later. But with Rooney, who missed four days of training with a sinus problem last week, having played just 29 minutes of first-team football since the 1-1 first-leg draw in the Bernabéu on Feb 13, the 28-year-old has been lined up to start against Norwich in a game which could see United again stretch their lead at the top of the Premier League to 15 points prior to Manchester City’s trip to Aston Villa on Monday evening. United will be without Robin van Persie against Norwich due to the striker continuing to rest the bruised hip suffered against Queens Park Rangers last Saturday, but the Dutchman is expected to be fit to face Real. Phil Jones, who injured his right ankle during the FA Cup fifth-round win against Reading 10 days ago, is losing his battle to be fit to face the Spanish champions, however.
Intriguingly, Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail claims United are plotting a transfer bid for Cristiano Ronaldo this summer, writing: “Many might think it implausible. Ferguson says he doubts it can happen, although he made similar noises about Robin van Persie, but there is growing belief around the club that a deal for Ronaldo is not as fanciful as it sounds.”
Speaking of Ronaldo, his Real Madrid teammate Sergio Ramos has praised the Portuguese star ahead of Tuesday’s clash at Old Trafford. “Cristiano is the best player in the world and in the big games he always shows up,” the Spaniard is quoted in The Sun. “He always responds.”