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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Owen Hargreave

Position: Midfielder
Joined United: 01 Jul 2007
Transfer Fee: Undisclosed
Previous Clubs: Bayern Munich
United Debut: 19 Aug 2007 v Man. City (A)
International England

FC Bayern Munich
* German Bundesliga: 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006
* UEFA Champions League: 2001
* Intercontinental Cup: 2001
* DFB Pokal: 2003, 2005, 2006
* Premiere Ligapokal 2004
* 2001 European U-21 Player of the Year

* England Player of the Year: 2006
* England Player of the World Cup: 2006

Tevez relishing Rooney partnership at OT

Carlos Tevez cannot wait to launch his Manchester United strike partnership with Wayne Rooney.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been frustrated in his quest to pair the big-money duo for United, first by the protracted nature of Tevez's move to Old Trafford, then because of the fractured foot Rooney sustained in the opening day draw with Reading.

Despite reports claiming Rooney could be on the bench on Saturday when the Red Devils look to record a third successive Premier League win by beating his old club Everton at Goodison Park, the following week's home encounter with title rivals Chelsea seems a more likely alternative.

Even Tevez's readiness to make the trip to Merseyside this weekend is in doubt after a gruelling round-the-world trek which saw him play a starring role in Argentina's win over Australia in Melbourne earlier today.

But the 23-year-old is confident when he does eventually get the opportunity to appear with Rooney, their partnership will be a fruitful enough to silence the doubters who claim they are too similar to be an effective combination.

'I don't think it is a question of us being too similar,' he told Inside United.

'When you go out on to the pitch, one player might be slightly further forward than the other or visa-versa, but you can work that out together.

'It will be a great experience to play alongside Wayne Rooney - it is something I am very excited about.'

Tevez has endured a relatively slow start to his United career compared to his amazing exploits with West Ham last term.

Perhaps the signs of rustiness were understandable given the uncertainty he found himself in once Argentina's Copa America campaign reached its conclusion.

It took another fortnight of haggling between West Ham, the Premier League and Tevez's advisor Kia Joorabchian before a deal to release the former Boca Juniors player was cleared to complete his switch to Old Trafford.

But despite the difficulties involved in the transfer - and United's disappointing start to their title defence, Tevez remains convinced he made the right move.

'I have joined the best club in the world with the best players in the world,' he said.

'I am also delighted to be working with such a great manager - Sir Alex supports me all the time.

'I knew all about the team before I joined; it's not difficult to see the qualities every member of the squad has. We have some great players and you see that ability every day in training.'

Ferguson will have Cristiano Ronaldo back at the weekend now the Portugal winger has completed his three-match ban.

Ronaldo's return is timely given United visit his former club Sporting Lisbon at the start of their latest Champions League mission next week.

Owen Hargreaves' fitness remains open to question after he was sent home from England duty with a thigh injury, although at least in Michael Carrick, Ferguson has a ready-made replacement.

However, Tevez knows he needs to start delivering too and is confident the performances will come once he gets a few more games under his belt.

'I need to become physically strong and from then on, I want to be part of this great team,' he said.

'Once I have done that, hopefully I can begin to produce the kind of football I played last season to help the team become successful.' Read more...

Neville close to comeback

United skipper Gary Neville doubts he will return from injury in time for Saturday's trip to Everton, but has his eye on a comeback in the near future.

The veteran defender has been out of action since damaging ankle ligaments in March, and subsequently suffering a thigh strain in training last month.

United's club captain told MUTV: "I probably did a bit too much, I was a bit over-excited getting back and I just felt my thigh a little bit. It's frustrating.

"Hopefully in the next week or two I'll be back and I hope to be playing games in the next couple of weeks definitely.

"Because I've been out for such a long time I think the Everton game is going to be too soon, I think it will probably be after that."

Wes Brown is likely to deputise at right-back in Neville's continued absence as United make the trip to Goodison Park.

Should Neville's comeback go according to schedule, he may return in time for Chelsea's visit to Old Trafford on September 23.


Rooney: I'm Ready To Play

Wayne Rooney last night told boss Alex Ferguson he is raring to return against his old club Everton on Saturday. Manchester United striker Rooney, 21, has been sidelined after breaking his metatarsal on the opening day of the season. But he has been out of plaster for a fortnight and training hard. Rooney is due to have another scan this week and Fergie will take advice from the United medical team before making a decision. He could certainly do with a fit Rooney - Carlos Tevez is also facing a gruelling return from Australia after his country’s match against the Socceroos tonight. At least Ferguson has Louis Saha back. The French frontman netted the winner against Sunderland in his first start since last February. Portugal wideman Cristiano Ronaldo is also available after serving a three-game suspension for his sending-off at Portsmouth.
Neil Custis, The Sun