Former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson speaks publicly for first time since brain surgery

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Sir Alex Ferguson has spoken publicly for the first time since undergoing emergency brain surgery in May.

The former Manchester United manager, who has been recovering at home for the past two months, has thanked medical staff in a video message released by the club.

The 76-year-old has also revealed that he intends to be back at Old Trafford to watch United in the coming season.

Ferguson said: “Hello. Just a quick message first of all to thank the medical staff at Macclesfield, Salford Royal and Alexandra hospitals.

“Believe me, without those people, who gave me such great care, I would not be sitting here today. So, thank you from me and my family. Thank you very much.

“It has made me feel so humble, as have all the messages I have had from all over the world, wishing me the best, and the good wishes to resonate very strongly with me. So thank you for that support you have given me.

“And lastly, I will be back later in the season to watch the team. In the meantime, all the best to Jose and the players. Thank you very much.”

Ferguson, Britain’s most successful football manager, received well wishes from around the sporting world after suffering a brain haemorrhage and being rushed into hospital. He spent four days in intensive care.

The Scot looked well as he spoke directly to camera during the video message, which was tweeted by the club.

Ferguson, who retired in 2013, won 38 trophies during a 26-year spell in charge of United, including 13 Premier League titles and two Champions Leagues. Prior to that he won 11 trophies with Aberdeen.

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Dimitar Berbatov believes Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial can be "unbelievable" players for Man United

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Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial can prove to be “unbelievable” players for Manchester United, according to Dimitar Berbatov.

The pair played second-fiddle to the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez for much of last season, with Martial missing out on a place in France’s successful World Cup campaign as a result.

Rashford went to Russia with England and has played plenty of football under Jose Mourinho, although the 20-year-old failed to impress his boss when given the chance to make a mark late on in the campaign.

With minutes key to his continued improvement, Rashford needs to remain central to Mourinho’s plans, while Martial continues to be linked with a move away from Old Trafford.

The winger left United’s pre-season tour of the United States earlier this week with Mourinho confirming he left to be present at the birth of his child.

Berbatov, who starred up front for the Red Devils between 2008 and 2012, wants to see more from the United youngsters moving forward.

“I think Rashford needs more playing time so he can develop fully because he has great abilities, for me alongside Martial these two can be unbelievable,” he said.

“They are young, they enjoy the game and because of their youth they see the game differently to other players.”

Berbatov played for United from 2008-12.

Berbatov played for United from 2008-12.

United’s pre-season tour has been something of a damp squib thus far, with three draws from their three games – culminating in a penalty shoot-out win over AC Milan on Wednesday.

There are a number of players missing, those who played in the World Cup and injured skipper Antonio Valencia, but Berbatov is hoping to see Rashford and Martial play alongside one another at some point.

“Some people say they cannot play at the same time but I disagree,” added the 37-year-old Bulgarian, who bagged 56 goals in 149 appearances for the club.

“They don’t over-think things, they just go and play and enjoy the game as much as they can – they are quick, strong, have great technical ability and they can score goals.

“So I hope that more time is given to Martial and Rashford which I think will be beneficial to the whole team and to them as well obviously.”

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Jose Mourinho questions Ashley Young's holiday but has warm words for Anthony Martial

David Cooper 26/07/2018
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Mourinho confirmed he is ready to let Matteo Darmian leave Old Trafford after the Italian captained the side in the International Champions Cup clash with his former club AC Milan in Carson City.

Alexis Sanchez‘s 12th-minute strike was quickly cancelled out by Suso before United prevailed 9-8 in a penalty shoot-out.

Young is one of a host of United stars still absent after World Cup duty, but could seize his chance with Antonio Valencia and Diogo Dalot both ruled out for the start of the new Premier League campaign.

Mourinho told a press conference: “Ashley Young is a possibility to play at right-back. He is on holiday and I don’t know if he fancies being back before that to put himself available for the team – or if he prefers to stay on holiday.”

Mourinho confirmed he will allow Darmian to leave the club providing they receive a suitable offer, but reserved praise for the 28-year-old.

Mourinho added: “Darmian is a fantastic guy and a tremendous pro. He’s the kind of guy who is always ready to give what he has, and for him to play against his childhood club and be captain has a nice meaning.

“But he wants to leave and I think when a player wants to leave if the right offer arrives you have to be human and let the player follow his instincts, but not at any price.

“Until now the offers we have got for Matteo are not even close to being accepted.”

Out of favour at United: Darmian.

Out of favour at United: Darmian.

Contrary to newspaper reports implying his anger, Mourinho appeared to have adopted a more laid-back approach to Anthony Martial’s decision to leave the tour early.

Mourinho said he was told three days ago by Martial – who is expected to leave Old Trafford this summer – that he was flying back to Paris to attend the birth of his second child.

Mourinho added: “I found out Martial was going to Paris when he told me three days ago.

“When a man is going to be a father, in this case for the second time, and he decides that it’s very important for him to go, I think nobody has the right to stop him to go.”

New father: Anthony Martial.

New father: Anthony Martial.

The manager shrugged off the win on penalties, insisting it meant “nothing”, but goalkeeper Joel Pereira was delighted to play his part with several saves – and attributed his success to a series of training-ground bets.

He told MUTV: “It feels amazing, as a goalkeeper when it’s a penalty shoot-out it depends on you.

“I’ve been the third goalkeeper for a year now and I always stay after training doing finishing with the boys – I like to do some bets with them, do some penalty shoot-outs and bet a shirt or dinner or something.

“We practice that a lot and today it worked pretty well for me.”

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