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Fergie tells midfield star to forget about retirement

Paul Scholes can abandon any plans he had to retire at the end of the season as Sir Alex Ferguson is convinced that the 34-year-old still has much to offer Manchester United.

Scholes has been one of Ferguson's greatest servants at Old Trafford but hinted in May that the 2009-10 campaign would be his last, with persistent injury problems taking their toll on the cultured midfielder.

But he has started four of the club's seven games so far this season and underlined his lasting value to the English champions when scoring the only goal of the game in United's 1-0 victory over Besiktas in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

It has been suggested that Scholes will look to spend his final playing days at his boyhood club, Oldham Athletic, but Ferguson is not ready to loosen his grip on the man who boasts 419 Premier League appearances and 98 goals for United.

"I don't think this is his last season. Not the way that he plays," said Ferguson. "It's difficult to say how long he can go on for but what else has he got? He is a football man. He isn't going to drop through the leagues I am sure of it.

"Once you have played for United for as long as he has - 20 years - what else are you going to do? I have read that stuff about playing for Oldham in his last year. No chance!"

Scholes is no longer the dominant playmaker of years gone by but his impressive range of passing and superior vision means he is still a valuable asset to the United side. Fitness concerns restricted him to just 14 Premier League starts last season and Ferguson admits he may have to be more sparing in his use of the player as the campaign wears on.

"The best time to use Scholes at this moment in time is when he is fresh. That's the right time," said Ferguson. "I am seeing the fresh Scholesy. It's September and we have to look at the whole season. We will see what happens.

"He will not be playing the whole season. But that's why we have got a squad of players. He will miss more than he plays. But if I get 25 games out of him at the level we saw on Saturday at Tottenham and Tuesday in Turkey I think we will be delighted at that."

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