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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Dec 30, 2006

Ferguson retains Rossi for title run in

Sir Alex Ferguson has opted to keep Giuseppe Rossi at Manchester United to aid the Red Devils title push.

Rossi has just returned from a loan spell at Newcastle but some reports suggested he was set for an instant journey back to the north-east, this time to link up with former United captain Roy Keane at Sunderland.

However, with Rossi's team-mates Phil Bardsley and Jonny Evans set to join the Black Cats, the Italy Under-21 striker will remain at Old Trafford, providing extra insurance in the forward department.

Although it is highly unlikely Rossi will be in Ferguson's squad for the New Year's Day clash with Newcastle at St James' Park, the United boss does believe the 19-year-old, who has scored four goals in 14 senior appearances for the Red Devils, can play a part in his side's push for glory.

'I don't see why we should let anyone go who is going to be useful to us,' said Ferguson.

'The run-in could be full of all sorts of pitfalls. We want to be prepared for it and we want to be able to handle it all, so it is good to get Giuseppe back.

'He has great talent, which is why we let him go to Newcastle. And even though he did not have a lot of games, he still comes back to us with a bit more experience and a bit of quality.'

Rossi started just five times for the Magpies, an extreme disappointment for Ferguson, who only let the forward head to Tyneside because he believed Glenn Roeder would make more use of him.

His return, coupled with the arrival of Henrik Larsson, who is expected to make his debut in next Sunday's FA Cup tie with Aston Villa, has bolstered United's striking options considerably after Ferguson took a major gamble on first-choice front-men Louis Saha and Wayne Rooney staying fit.

In addition though, Ferguson has received a major bonus in the contribution of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

There were many, including the United boss, who feared the Norwegian's career would virtually be ended by the knee problems which ruled him out of action for almost three full seasons.

However, the 33-year-old has proved all the doubters wrong and scored his seventh goal of the campaign against Wigan on Boxing Day.

'Ole is a 100% bonus for us this season,' said Ferguson.

'You have to be concerned about anyone who has been out for that length of time.

'But he is such a determined lad and he has handled his rehabilitation with absolutely perfect consideration and care for himself.

'He has been really attentive to everything we have done with him. He is just a great professional.'

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