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Ferguson: Next United boss must be experienced

Sir Alex Ferguson believes his handling of the Wayne Rooney contract saga proves Manchester United need an experienced manager to take over when he finally leaves the club.

Press Pass: Rooney's U-turn

• Terry: U-turn makes it harder
• WIN: A signed Wayne Rooney boot
• Hush: Fergie shows who's boss
• Brewin: Money talked
• Gill: Deal sends a message

England striker Rooney looked certain to leave United last week before performing a remarkable U-turn which Ferguson at least partly puts down to the fact he has seen it all before in his 24 years in charge at Old Trafford.

"I don't think Manchester United could ever go down the road of having a young manager, to be honest with you," he said. "It's a job that needs a lot of experience at the top end of the game. We have the benefit of my 24 years at the club, so fortunately that's the way we could deal with it.

Ferguson, who turns 69 this year, said his successor must not only be an experienced coach but also someone who knows how to deal with the glaring spotlight that comes with being in charge of a big club.

"At Manchester United, you can never be surprised," he said. "There is always something happening in the club and there are always issues to deal with. I don't think you can deny we got a lot of publicity that we didn't enjoy, but you have to deal with these situations and I think we dealt with it very well. I've got the benefit of having been at the club for such a long time I have experienced a lot of things. It's big enough dealing with winning matches without the publicity attached that doesn't always put football in a good light.

"We always try to always be a good part of the game, and all the right things about the game, but for a couple of days last week, there was unfortunate information, you know? To be manager of our club, you have to have someone strong who can deal with all these issues."

Ferguson has criticised Rooney's agent Paul Stretford for his role in last week's sensational events, and he added on Sirius XM that he feels agents get too much of a free ride in the media because journalists rely on them as sources.

"The modern trend with agents is that they are never criticised by journalists because that is their feeding foundation and where they get all their stories and complete knowledge of what is happening with a lot of players. That was the area where we were handicapped."


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