What snub? ‘It’s all nonsense’ insists angry Sir Alex Ferguson as he rebuffs Rafa Benitez’s handshake claims

By Chris Bailey

An angry Sir Alex Ferguson shot down claims from Rafa Benitez that he snubbed a pre-match handshake, as he spoke ahead of Manchester United’s clash with Reading.

The interim Chelsea boss – who admitted he was too busy celebrating with his players to shake hands after the game – was left bemused by Ferguson’s apparent shun.

However, the wily Scot has strongly denied Benitez’s accusation, insisting his full attention was on the Old Trafford support before kick-off.

“It is nonsense,” he said. “Why would I refuse to shake his hand?

“I was signing autographs and I never saw him. Why he has said that I have no idea.

“If he wanted to shake hands he could have stood straight in front of me. It is absolute nonsense.”

In another shock for Ferguson this week, Roy Hodgson called-up England veteran Rio Ferdinand after spending more than 18 months out in the international cold.

Though he admits Ferdinand is in fine form this season, Ferguson wants the defender to mull over whether adding to his workload is the best option at this stage in his career.

“I was as surprised as anyone when I heard,” he added. “I need to speak to our doctor – we prepare Rio in certain ways and he has certain treatments he has to go through.

“The procedures have been the same all season which has given him fantastic performance levels when he’s playing for us.

“We have to consider that and Rio is considering that.”

Reading travel to Old Trafford in dire straits, having sunk to the bottom of the Premier League table and yet to appoint a manager after Brian McDermott was sacked on Monday.

After a series of questionable Premier League dismissals this season – including Southampton’s Nigel Adkins and Roberto Di Matteo at Chelsea – Ferguson was left baffled again at another trigger-happy decision.

“Reading are fighting for their lives at the bottom and could come here without a manager,” he said.

“Some things you can never understand and football is full of that. To sack Brian McDermott at this stage is strange to say the least.”

The only fresh Red Devils injury concern is Nani – who is expected back in action for Sunderland next week – to add to Phil Jones, who is a week away from training.

Image courtesy of BBC Sport, via YouTube, with thanks

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