Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Ferguson tight-lipped over Ozil

Mesut Ozil

Sir Alex Ferguson insists he does not need to add to his Manchester United squad but has refused to confirm or deny his interest in signing Mesut Ozil.

Ferguson was at Craven Cottage on Saturday, where Ozil's Werder Bremen side were playing Fulham in a pre-season friendly. The United boss hinted he was an admirer of the 21-year-old after his side's 3-1 victory over Chelsea in the Community Shield, but asked if he was interested in bringing the playmaker to Old Trafford, he replied: "I don't know."

He added: "I think a lot of clubs would be interested in Ozil. At the moment, I think we've got a great squad. I don't need to add to it - that's my opinion. I trust them. But, as I said, there are a lot of clubs interested in him."

United may not need Ozil judging by Sunday's performance, which was orchestrated by midfield maestro Paul Scholes.

It almost beggars belief Ferguson had to talk Scholes out of retiring at the end of last season, although the Old Trafford boss admitted he too had his doubts over the 35-year-old's future.

He said: "This time last season, he's saying to himself, 'This is my last season' - and a lot of people thought that. It came across my mind also, simply because he's had a lot of injuries in his career, he keeps coming back. It's not easy to do that.

"It's a phenomenon that he goes out there, becomes man of the match, approaching his 36th birthday. He's just an incredible footballer."

The same could be said about Wayne Rooney, who laid on Antonio Valencia's opening goal on Sunday with a stunning first-time cross, matched only by the long ball forward from Scholes that set the England striker free on the right.

Rooney's 45-minute Wembley cameo suggested he had put his World Cup misery behind him, while his replacement - Javier Hernandez - also impressed.

The Mexico forward's debut goal was pure comedy, Hernandez slipping and kicking the ball into his own face and over the line. Dimitar Berbatov sealed the win in stoppage-time after Salomon Kalou pulled a goal back as Chelsea threatened to level.

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