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Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson to block Jonny Evans move to Barcelona

Northern Ireland legend Gerry Armstrong today insisted Barcelona target Jonny Evans would be a massive hit in Spain — but he also knows Sir Alex Ferguson would never allow him to leave Old Trafford.

The Catalan giants have made no secret of their desire to bring Evans to the Nou Camp and would part with £12million to do it. However, Spanish football pundit Armstrong believes Evans has already proven his worth to United.

“Jonny has been superb for Manchester United and it’s no surprise he is attracting attention like this,” Armstrong said.

“Jonny is great on the ball and is so versatile — being able to play anywhere across the back four or even midfield.

“He would be a massive hit in Spain, just like Gerard Pique who went from United to Barca in similar circumstances last year.

“However, Sir Alex Ferguson has Jonny earmarked as Rio Ferdinand’s long-term replacement and is far too highly thought of to be sold. Jonny is also worth much more £12million now.”

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Ferguson turned down a £10 million offer for Evans from then Sunderland manager Roy Keane this time last year and the man himself said yesterday that Evans is very much part of his plans and he is expecting even more from the Newtownabbey lad this season.

“We're expecting a lot from Jonny Evans, Danny Welbeck, Darron Gibson, Fedeico Macheda and the Da Silva brothers,” Ferguson said.

Evans is expected to be given a starting role against Valencia at Old Trafford in a friendly tonight.

Meanwhile, United have been rocked by the news that goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is due to be out for up to eight weeks after breaking a finger.

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