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Rivers United ease relegation fears

By ESPN Staff

No news over Tevez contract

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed Gary Neville and Park Ji-sung are both in line for new Manchester United contracts - but the haggling over Carlos Tevez's permanent deal is set to continue.

Tevez joined United on a two-year loan that is due to expire in the summer.

It is thought the contract stipulates the sum United must pay the Argentina forward's advisers to buy him outright but so far, there has been no agreement on personal terms with speculation also surfacing that the Red Devils have tried to renegotiate the fee given Tevez has not been a first-team regular this term.

Real Madrid are believed to be among those monitoring developments, although Tevez has consistently declared his desire to remain at Old Trafford.

However, reports of talks re-opening between the 24-year-old's controversial agent Kia Joorabchian and United chief executive David Gill are news to Ferguson.

The Scot confirmed United have attempted to instigate negotiations aimed at bringing forward a self-imposed deadline of next May. But so far it seems the Red Devils have met with little success.

"I have no idea about Tevez,'' said Ferguson. "The contract is due to be the end of the season anyway but obviously we tried to bring it forward and we will keep trying to do that.

"But it is difficult with agents sometimes. All the managers signing players this January will experience that.''

At least keeping Neville and Park should be less tricky given Ferguson wants both men to stay.

A lifelong United fan, Neville will celebrate his 34th birthday next month and despite almost 18 months on the sidelines with a broken ankle and various muscular ailments, Ferguson feels the England international has returned to something like his best form.

The emergence of teenage Brazilian starlet Rafael means Neville can no longer be regarded as automatic first-choice right-back, but he remains integral to the Scot's plans, even though he was surprisingly uninformed about the player's contract, which expires this summer.

"I have not spoken to David (Gill) about it but I am sure there will be another contract because Gary has been back to his best,'' said Ferguson.

"He is looking really good now and he did a crucial job for us when we brought him on against Middlesbrough last Monday.

"The experience he has is so important to us.''

Similarly, Ferguson was unaware of the concern recently expressed by Park over his Old Trafford future.

The popular South Korean has overcome the disappointment of not even getting a place in the United squad for last season's Champions League final win over Chelsea to force his way into Ferguson's side on a regular basis this term.

Yet Park has claimed no-one from United has approached him about a contract that expires in 18 months.

His manager mistakenly thought Park had recently agreed an extension but, like Neville, insists the former PSV Eindhoven player will get a new deal when the time is right.

"It is not on the radar screen but he will be offered a contract,'' said Ferguson.

"Ji has been fantastic for us and is one of our most consistent players.''


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