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Sir Alex Ferguson says Manchester United made no attempt to sign Joe Cole on a free transfer this summer.

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Cole, who left Chelsea following the expiry of his contract, eventually joined Liverpool after weeks of speculation linking him to United, Tottenham and Arsenal, but Ferguson said United never considered a deal for the midfielder.

"We were approached by Joe Cole's agent at one point but we didn't enter into it at all," Ferguson said. "It was complicated to get involved in that."

Cole, who scored a vital goal for Chelsea against United last season, could get the chance to cause more damage when Liverpool head to Old Trafford on Sunday.

Cole said in the Liverpool Echo: "I love playing against Manchester United. I always have. Old Trafford is a great place to play and there is no better stadium to get a result.

"At Liverpool, with the added rivalry between the clubs, it is going to be really exciting. I'm really looking forward to it. It can be a game that you use as a yardstick to measure your season but if we take a result away from Old Trafford it will be really good.

"They are in a similar boat to us. They haven't started all guns blazing and have been in fits and starts. It will be a massive test but we have just got to keep doing what we are doing. I'm available for selection. I'm looking forward to it. People have told me what this means to the club and I am ready for it."

Meanwhile, Ferguson has confirmed that Nemanja Vidic will take the captaincy from Rio Ferdinand on a full-time basis.

"As I explained last week, what we wanted was someone who was consistently available for us," he told MUTV. "Everyone recognises Nemanja Vidic would always be there.

"He has been fit all season and you don't leave him out of the team unless you are going to rest him. He started the campaign as captain and it will stay that way."


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