Premier League

Ferguson intent on staying put

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed retirement rumors.
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Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson insists he is going nowhere after stories emerged on Saturday about his physical condition.

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United have confirmed their manager is booked in for hip surgery when he returns from the club's pre-season tour at the end of July.

Although United have not revealed the exact nature of the problem, the timings seem odd as, presumably, Ferguson could have the operation now, when it would not impact on the season, as it almost certainly will next summer.

That has led to suggestions it might be a cover story for Ferguson's retirement, which will almost certainly be announced with no prior knowledge.

However, in his programme notes ahead of tomorrow's encounter with Chelsea, written before the hip issue became public knowledge, Ferguson underlined his desire to carry on.

"This team of champions is not going away - we are here for the long ride," Ferguson told United Review.

"We will get better and if we apply ourselves in our normal fashion I see our 20th league title as nothing but the start of another decade of success.

"Whether I will be here to oversee another decade of success remains to be seen, but I certainly don't have any plans at the moment to walk away from what I believe will be something special and worth being around to see.

"It's always difficult in football to be absolutely sure of the future because the game has a habit of tripping you up.

"But I don't live in a fantasy world and believe we have every reason to feel confident about the future of Manchester United."

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