Belfast Telegraph

Smoking Wayne Rooney and car crash Anderson in hot water with Fergie

Manchester United's Wayne Rooney arrives in Dublin tomorrow in the doghouse with boss Sir Alex Ferguson, and wife Colleen.





Striker Rooney and Brazilian midfielder Anderson both face raps from their unimpressed Manchester United boss after they were involved in embarrassing weekend incidents.

Rooney was pictured in a national newspaper smoking, urinating against a wall and chanting in the street in the small hours of Sunday morning after a night out. Wife Colleen also appeared in the pictures, appearing to order her husband into a taxi.

Anderson escaped a potentially more serious outcome when his car was involved in a serious crash on a rural road in Braga, in northern Portugal.

The player escaped with minor injuries after the vehicle, which was carrying two other passengers, despite only being equipped with two seats, careered off the road and smashed into a wall. Anderson was lifted out of the car, unconscious, just before it burst into flames.

“I am very lucky because the accident was serious,” he said.

“I knew the road well. But the car lost control at a curve and we crashed against a wall. I remember people coming to help, which I am very grateful for. It was a very big scare for me but I am fine.”

Anderson was cleared by doctors to fly back to Manchester but still faces the possibility of being investigated by Portuguese police.

Neither Rooney’s indiscretion or Anderson’s accident — the 22 year-old was reported to have been out partying immediately before the crash — is likely to have pleased Ferguson.

The Manchester United squad are set to assemble for their Dublin friendly against a League of Ireland select at the Aviva stadium tomorrow night and Ferguson is likely to remind them of their responsibilities.

Rooney, who was given an extended post-World Cup break, will feature in Dublin and possibly also against Chelsea in the Community Shield on Sunday. He had been expected to be rested.

On the transfer front, reliable Spanish newspaper sources today reported Ferguson has stepped up his interest in Real Madrid’s French midfielder Lassana Diarra.

The door to an Old Trafford move for Diarra opened as Madrid having signed German midfielder Sami Khedira from Stuttgart.

Diarra (23) has spent two seasons at Madrid since moving from Portsmouth, but will now likely see his place at the Bernabeu come under greater threat, following the signing of Khedira.

Ferguson has been linked with a move for the Frenchman for some time and now Spanish daily 'Sport', regarded as an accurate barometer, reports that the United boss will make his move.

'Sport' speculates that United would be willing to spend 24 million Euros on Diarra, who also had spells in England with Chelsea and Arsenal. Diarra is an excellent box to box midfielder, particularly strong in a defensive role but also effective pushing forward.

Given that Owen Hargreaves shows no sign of returning from injury, there could well be a space in the United midfield for Diarra, who would battle Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick for a central midfield spot.

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