Inside Sir Alex: United boss talks Ryan Giggs, his ‘vulnerable’ health and dismisses Manchester City threat

By Dean Wilkins

‘The Best Player in the Premier League’ Ryan Giggs will play into his 40s, claims Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson.

The 38-year-old Welshman is captaining Stuart Pearce’s Great Britain football squad in London 2012 and signed a one-year contract extension with the Reds in May.

But Fergie expects the winger – who could end up playing 1,000 games for United – to join former Reds Teddy Sheringham and Edwin van der Sar in the over-40s club.

“Ryan can play for another year after this,” Ferguson claimed.

But when asked if former England captain Rio Ferdinand could join the club, Ferguson said: “I don’t think so.”

He added: “It’s not on his agenda either. He wants to ensure he’s fit for us.

“As a centre-back, if you stay fit and look after yourself you should be playing until you are 37.”

Speaking for the first time about a serious nose bleed the 70-year-old suffered two months ago the Scot said he had been forced to slow down.

“I took too many flights that week,” he said.

“It was a bit silly to be flying as much as I did. Belfast, Berlin, Newcastle, Manchester, Belfast, Manchester, up to Glasgow. It was seven flights in five days.

“If you do a straight 12-hour flight to South Africa and back there wouldn’t have been the same problem. But I was going up and down all the time.

“It’s not as if it was anything to do with my heart but when the club doctor explained what he thought it seemed reasonable.

“We are all vulnerable to age aren’t we? It doesn’t come without penalties.

“Maybe that was a way of telling me to slow down a bit in terms of travelling.”

When asked if Ferguson was actually human – despite many claiming he is indestructible – he said: “Not many people will agree with you there.”

And despite having the Premier League title snatched from their grasp by rivals Manchester City in the last minutes of the season, Fergie claimed they are not United’s biggest threat for the next campaign.

“People may say Manchester City are the team to beat but I don’t agree,” said Ferguson.

“We are the team to beat because of the way we react and the way we have bounced back from losing the league in the past. We will be strong this season.”

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