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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tevez: Success at last!

Carlos Tevez has revealed Moscow was a case of third time lucky for the Reds’ no.32.

Before his arrival in England, Tevez tasted bitter disappointment in major finals with Boca Juniors and Argentina.

“I lost to Once Caldas in the Copa Libertadores in 2004,” he revealed, “and Brazil in the Copa America [last summer]. This time I had to win it.”

No doubt the 2004 loss was running through his mind in Moscow, as that final also ended 1-1 before going to penalties.

“It’s been a long time since I felt like this,” he said. “There’s huge emotion in my heart. When I was a child, I never thought I would be now lifting the European Cup, but dreams usually come true and I am very, very happy.”

Although Tevez started just six of United’s 13 Champions League games this season, he appeared in a further six on the road to European glory. The only match he didn’t take part in was the Matchday 6 “dead rubber” in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.

Indeed, the 24-year-old was instrumental to the Reds’ success, scoring vital goals against Olympique Lyonnais (a) and AS Roma (h) in the knockout rounds.

“Sir Alex gives me confidence,” the Argentina international said. “I know what he thinks, what he needs and we always discuss the decisions he makes.

“He has always backed me and I am very thankful to him.”

Sheasy: I'm going nowhere

John O'Shea has dismissed talk that he will seek a transfer during the course of the summer.

The Irish utility player made just 17 starts in all competitions last season and, although O'Shea admits he has been forced to contemplate his future, he is loathe to leave Old Trafford for a smaller club.

When asked about the possibility of leaving, O'Shea told reporters: "That is crossing my mind a lot of the time, but then I think 'where do you go when you leave a team like that?'

"That's an even bigger question. For the time being, I will stay where I am. You just have to get on with it. The club has so many players - in the build-up to the [Champions League] final, every player was fit."

O'Shea empathises with Sir Alex Ferguson's bind in trying to keep every member of the United squad happy, but he expects the Reds' manager to remain at the Old Trafford helm for a good while yet.

"I think our gaffer is up there on his own and he is hungry for more," he said. "Credit to him for that because obviously he feels that this team can go on and write a new part in the club's famous history.

"There are stories coming out that he has three more years in charge - I would say he could be there longer than that."

Reds Set To Splash £50m

Sir Alex Ferguson has told the Manchester United board he wants to conclude his £50million summer transfer spending within the next fortnight. United completed the signings of Nani, Anderson and Owen Hargreaves within two weeks of the end of last season and Fergie wants this summer's business done before he goes on his annual summer holiday to the exclusive resort of Cap Ferrat in the South of France next week. Top of Fergie's wanted list are Sevilla's Brazilian duo, striker Luis Fabiano and defender Daniel Alves, who are likely to cost United a combined £30million. Alves is seen as Gary Neville's permanent replacement at right-back, but Fergie remains keen on Manchester City and England defender Micah Richards, despite his likely £20m price tag. There is likely to be a maximum of four new faces at United this summer, while three departures are inevitable - defenders Mikael Silvestre and Gerard Pique, as well as injury-plagued striker Louis Saha.
David McDonnell, Daily Mirror

Pique set for Barca return

FC Barcelona and Manchester United have reached agreement for the transfer of Gerard Piqué to the Catalan club. Gerard, 21, will sign a four-year contract with Barcelona.

The young Spaniard returns to Camp Nou after leaving for Old Trafford in 2004. During his four-year Reds career, Piqué made 14 starts and nine substitute appearances.

Both of Gerard's senior goals came in last season's successful Champions League campaign, against Dynamo Kyiv and AS Roma.

Although Piqué enjoyed his most prominent Old Trafford season during 2007/08, the longstanding central defensive partnership of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic meant his route to regular first-team action was blocked. Read more...