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By ESPN Staff

Ferguson praises Ruud for attitude in training

Sir Alex Ferguson has praised the attitude of wantaway striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.

The Holland forward is desperate to leave Manchester United following his bust-up with Ferguson at the end of last season.

Van Nistelrooy has already handed in a written transfer request and had hoped to have sealed a move to either Real Madrid or Bayern Munich by now.

Instead, with United holding out for a £15m transfer fee, the 30-year-old was forced to return to training on Monday.

And, while the odds are still on Van Nistelrooy leaving before the new season gets under way against Fulham on August 20, Ferguson was impressed by the Dutchman's hunger in training.

'At this moment in time Ruud is still a Manchester United player,' said the United boss.

'Without question, he did very well in training yesterday. He showed a good attitude, which is good.'

Ferguson, who has flown up to Glasgow with an extremely young squad for the friendly with Celtic, insists he is not panicking over a lack of new signings.

United have yet to make a single purchase this summer, with Atletico Madrid forward Fernando Torres ruling out a move to England yesterday.

Tottenham midfielder Michael Carrick continues to be linked with United but Ferguson is unwilling to pay the £17million Spurs are believed to want for the England midfield player.

'We are working on certain things,' said Ferguson. 'Of course, people are trying to make out we are in a desperate situation. That is far from the case.

'If I was to start the season with the players I have now, all fully fit, I would not be disappointed.'

One player who could offer Ferguson a timely boost is Alan Smith. The former Leeds player was not expected to be back in action until the end of next month at the earliest following his horrific double leg break in the FA Cup defeat at Liverpool in February.

However, Smith returned to training yesterday with United's World Cup contingent and Ferguson thinks he may now be fit for the Fulham encounter.

'I was surprised but not amazed,' said Ferguson.

'With his personality we always knew he wouldn't just accept the situation.

'He trained yesterday and looking at the way he performed, I would not discount him being ready for the start of the season.'