Last updated : 15 April 2004 By Editor

Red Issue forumites will have read the many Forlan threads in the wake of his performance and subsequent tantrum against Leicester so major surprise there then.

In fact nothing new at all. All these names have been reported by most papers in the last few weeks or so.

An excerpt from The Times:

With Nicky Butt, the England midfield player, also likely to be sold, Ferguson hopes to add around £15 million to his kitty, but he will find it difficult to recoup his outlay on Kléberson, the Brazil midfield player, and Forlán, the Uruguay forward. Although there is interest from Spain in Forlán, United may have to accept less than half the £7.5 million they spent on him in January 2002. Similarly, few clubs will value Kléberson at anything like the £5.93 million United paid only eight months ago.

Even at the time, eyebrows were raised at the acquisition of Kléberson who, despite having contributed to Brazil’s triumph in the World Cup, had envisaged Birmingham City as his most likely destination in England.

Speculation suggests that Ferguson’s scouting team, sent to monitor him in action for Atlético Paranaense, watched the wrong player and, while that story may be apocryphal, there has been little evidence in his 12 appearances that he has the required quality to succeed at Old Trafford.

Forlán, 25 next month, can have less complaint, having spent more than two years at the club, but he has been frustrated by the amount of time he has spent on the pitch. He headed straight down the tunnel after being substituted 57 minutes into United’s 1-0 victory over Leicester City on Tuesday night - which infuriated Ferguson, but a decision about the player’s future had already been taken.

Uncertainty remains, however, about the long-term future of Ryan Giggs, particularly if Ferguson succeeds in strengthening his attacking options by signing a player such as Rafael van der Vaart, the Ajax forward, or even Damien Duff, of Chelsea. Giggs’s contract has just over two years to run.

The Guardian:

Carlos Queiroz will not be Real Madrid's manager next year, even if they overhaul Valencia's two-point lead to win the Spanish league title, and sources close to Sir Alex Ferguson's former assistant have suggested that he is keen to return to Manchester United.

The Portuguese would be warmly welcomed back at a club where his original appointment was "the best decision I ever made", according to Ferguson, who accepts that he will need to replace his stand-in No2 Walter Smith.

Queiroz was credited with much of United's defensive improvement in winning the title last season, plus much of their tactical and organisational innovation, and his was not an acrimonious departure. Ferguson accepted that the chance to manage Real Madrid was too good to turn down. Not to mention too good to be true.