With England’s debut at Euro 2012 only 36 hours away one would expect the focus to be on the team or the opponent, instead the Rio Ferdinand saga shows no sign of stopping, following Roy Hodsgon’s press conference yesterday.
The Guardian and the Mirror both report that the England manager explained the “footballing reasons” behind Ferdinand’s omission from the team, claiming that it would have been an “insult” to leave a player of Ferdinand’s class on the bench and admitting that he had never considered calling up the United defender as a late back-up, leaving Rio to admit that his England career is as good as over.
Aside from Ferdinand, two Manchester United players are tipped to be the key to England’s hopes of defeating France tomorrow.
The Guardian looks at Ashley Young as the man who, in the absence of Wayne Rooney, will have to provide the creative spark, while on the Sun, former United captains Roy Keane and Steve Bruce says that it’s imperative that Hodgson decides to start Danny Welbeck ahead of Andy Carroll.
In transfer news, the Daily Mail reports that United have agreed a £4 million fee for Crewe’s attacking midfielder Nick Powell.
The 18-year-old had been on Ferguson’s radar for a while and the paper suggests he will be loaned back to Crewe for a year.
The Mirror reports that United are planning to offer players on loan to Everton in a bid to reduce David Moyes’ £15 million demand for Leighton Baines who could leave Merseyside for Old Trafford following Everton’s interest in Wolves’ fullback Stephen Ward, claims the paper.
A player who will definitely not join United is Karim Benzema. The French striker has revelaed that Ferguson has been trying to sign him for four years but he has no intention of leaving the Bernabeu, the Sun reports.