Friday 24 November 2017

Welbeck may leave United

Reds' starlet in contract dispute but demonstrates his value to Fergie as Scholes rolls back the years to bury Bolton

MANCHESTER United face losing Danny Welbeck in the summer if they fail to agree a new deal with the in-form England striker.

Welbeck, who showed his value to manager Alex Ferguson on Saturday with another goal in the 3-0 Premier League win over Bolton at Old Trafford, is currently embroiled in a contract dispute with United.

And it could see the 21-year-old striker leave the club in a few months' time.

Welbeck has 18 months left on his contract, but the stumbling block on a new deal is United's refusal to quadruple his weekly wage from £15,000 to £60,000.

United's neighbours Manchester City have been alerted as to his possible availability, while Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas is also an admirer of the young forward.

Welbeck's contract wrangle is one of three disputes currently causing a stir at Old Trafford, with two other young stars also set to head out the exit door.

Controversial young star Ravel Morrison could be the first to leave as United are now prepared to listen to offers for him, following numerous attempts by club officials and senior players to help him become a more disciplined professional.

A £2.5m bid by Newcastle was turned down last week, but it's believed United are prepared to let him go for £3m.

While midfielder Paul Pogba could be the subject of a £3m bid from Chelsea as United are refusing to hand the French youngster a £45,000-a-week deal. Ferguson saw United get back to winning ways on Saturday but was left baffled by the increasingly thorny issue of red cards in the Premier League.

Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany was sent off for a two-footed -- but ultimately successful -- tackle against United last week, but Liverpool's Glen Johnson saw a similar challenge against City defender Joleon Lescott go unpunished three days later.

Ferguson, who saw comeback king Paul Scholes open the scoring in a 3-0 victory, felt Zat Knight should have been dismissed for a tackle on Danny Welbeck which led to a penalty that Wayne Rooney missed.

He now wants a clearer understanding of what is an is not acceptable under the present rules.

"We should have been playing against 10 men," said the United boss, who also enjoyed goals from Welbeck and Michael Carrick.

"But these inconsistencies are confusing to everyone.

"Referees have to be given direction about what are the laws of the game and what should be permitted in terms of tackles.

"(Referees' chief) Mike Riley has to be given the rope to say this is not allowed, two-footed tackles are not acceptable, whether you take the ball or not."

Bobby Charlton, meanwhile, has labelled the return of Manchester United "dinosaur" Paul Scholes as one of the best bits of news ever.

If Scholes' retirement U-turn last week at the age of 37 was remarkable, that he should score on his return to Ferguson's starting line-up was truly amazing.

After all, the midfielder only found the net once last season, when he made 33 appearances.

But, in a period where it seems the clock is being turned back with old favourites gracing the Premier League stage once more, Charlton believes Scholes' comeback could turn out to be crucial.

"I have been more upbeat since I heard about Paul Scholes returning to the squad," he said.

"It is one of the best pieces of news I have ever had.

"He is a sensational footballer and we are very lucky to have him.

"Maybe the one thing Sir Alex (Ferguson) had given a bit of thought to was that we needed a creative player in midfield.

"Suddenly there is a knock on the door and it is Paul Scholes saying he wants to play again.

"Alex must have thought it was Christmas all over again."

"Scholesy is a dinosaur," said Patrice Evra. The boss said that about him, Giggsy, (Gary) Neville and (Edwin) van der Sar.

"Scholesy should never stop.

"Now the manager gave a gift to us because it looked like he never stopped. I am so happy he is back. We need a player like that if we want to win the league."

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