Manchester United’s hopes hit as Wayne Rooney may miss three weeks
Manager David Moyes still hoping to sign Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao on loan
Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney struggling with abductor muscle injury
Manchester United’s hopes of finishing in a Champions League position could suffer a severe blow as fears grow that Wayne Rooney may be out for three weeks with a groin injury.
As David Moyes’s squad were given the day off yesterday, the manager will have a clearer idea of Rooney’s condition when the players return to training today.
Last week the striker was sent away for a warm-weather break in Egypt with his family and one of United’s fitness experts to help his recovery from an abductor problem. But it now seems that he will miss Sunday’s crucial trip to Chelsea and could be out for the rest of the month.
If so, Moyes’s hopes of clawing back United’s deficit of five points on Liverpool in fourth place would take a severe hit as the forward could miss three Premier League games, with Robin van Persie still recovering from a thigh problem.
Rooney would also miss Wednesday’s League Cup semi-final second leg against Sunderland at Old Trafford, a tie in which United must overcome a 2-1 deficit from the first match.
Accepted FA charge
Moyes has accepted a Football Association charge of misconduct for questioning the officiating after the game at Sunderland, with the manager requesting a non-personal hearing from the commission that will decide his punishment.
The manager is likely to receive a fine, with Liverpool’s Brendan Rodgers receiving an £8,000 penalty when accepting the same charge for questioning the integrity of the referee, Lee Mason, who officiated his side’s defeat at Manchester City on St Stephen’s Day.
Rodgers erred by asking why Mason, who hails from Greater Manchester, had taken charge of the match. Stoke City’s Mark Hughes and Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho have also each been fined £8,000 for accepting the same charge.
Moyes was charged after his criticism of the “terrible” officiating at the Stadium of Light. The Scot was unhappy with the free-kick awarded by Andre Marriner that led to Ryan Giggs’s own goal and with the second-half penalty awarded by the referee.
The manager said then of the officials: “We’re having to play them as well as the opposition at the moment. It’s really terrible, it really is. We’re actually beginning to laugh at them, that’s the thing.”
Moyes remains hopeful of taking Real Madrid’s Fabio Coentrao on loan until the end of the season. Although Carlo Ancelotti, the Real head coach, has claimed that no players will leave during this transfer window, a deal is in place between the left-back’s agent, Jorge Mendes, and United regarding the player’s terms, with the sticking point potentially being if Real can get a replacement to cover the position.
Rio Ferdinand has revealed he has ambitions to manage in the Premier League when he retires, with the defender also insistent that United can finish in a Champions League berth this season.
Ferdinand, answering fans’ questions on twitter, was asked where he would like to be in five years time. “Alive . . . in London & managing in the PL!!,” he tweeted.
Nemanja Vidic is also confident that the champions can improve their form in the latter part of the campaign, with the captain identifying the next few weeks as vital. “We have to win regularly and in the next month we will know exactly where we are,” he said.