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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Sir Alex rules out 2012 Olympic coaching role

Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out taking charge of a British football team at the 2012 Olympics in London.

The Manchester United manager had informal talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Lord Coe, chairman of the 2012 organising committee, last year over the possibility of spearheading a bid for gold on home soil.

But Ferguson has confirmed he has no interest in a career in international football.

''No. I won't turn to international management,'' he told a special 200th anniversary edition of the club's magazine Inside United.

''When I've finished here, I think I deserve a rest. After here, I'm finished.''

The involvement of a Great Britain side at the 2012 Games has yet to be confirmed and is opposed by the football associations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, who fear it could jeopardise their independent status within FIFA.

But just last month, when asked at a Downing Street press conference what he wanted for Christmas, Brown said: ''That we have an Olympics team for the 2012 Olympics that is a football team from Britain.''

Brown also suggested the involvement of Ferguson could help to bring the Scots on board, adding: ''Sebastian Coe and I have talked to Alex Ferguson about the possibility that he might want to be the manager.''

He added: ''I think there is a way around this problem, and I think the way around this problem can be found if people can get round the table and discuss it.''

Earlier last year, however, Ferguson, 67, insisted that he was too old to guarantee his involvement.

''I'll be 70 then, so I don't need any commitment to anything like that,'' he said.

''I would not, in any way, shape or form try to commit myself to anything like that four years away.

''I'm not sure they would allow it [the GB Team] anyway, because countries have their own identity.''

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