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Fergie: Neville won't leave United

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he has no intention of allowing Gary Neville to leave Manchester United following the defender's retirement.

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Neville called it a day after nearly two decades at Old Trafford after struggling for form and fitness this season, but Ferguson intends to keep the 35-year-old and find him a role at the club.

Neville will remain at the club until the end of the season and complete his coaching badges, and he insists he will not rush into a decision, saying he wanted to take time to "ease off a little bit and chill out".

"Gary will remain with the team. He will train whenever he wants," Ferguson said. "The next step forward for our club is to retain Gary in a capacity in which he will be satisfied.

"That's because I feel his contribution and what he can contribute in future years is about what we are. We are a family club and he has been part of that. He has created that family atmosphere in the dressing room time and time again over the years.''

Ferguson believes Neville could help bring though the next crop of youngsters at United. He added: "I do think he has a role to play as a coach, I really do, particularly with the young players.

"Gary has been a great example to the young players in the professional side of it. But on the other side, the academy, we should have that presence and coaching ability Gary has. He is taking his badges. He is ready to go into coaching and we will just find a role for him.

"He is a fantastic, incredible man. He came to us as a 13-year-old boy, an avid United fan. He has been that way all his life. He has made a great career out of a fantastic will and determination to be the best. He is an absolute legend at our club and will remain so for the rest of his life.''

Sunderland boss Steve Bruce, who was a member of the United team when Neville first emerged at the club, says his former team-mate deserves all the praise coming his way.

He said: "He is a driven character, he is excellent in the dressing room. As a young kid he was fiercely determined to succeed, and you have to say he has had a wonderful career.

"There's this awful negativity around him unfortunately, people are too keen to jump on the bandwagon. When you step back and have a look, he has had a fantastic career, won eight or ten championships, medals galore, played 600 times for Manchester United and 85 caps for England. Fair play and well done.''

Meanwhile, Ryan Giggs has backed Neville to become a successful assistant manager.

"Gary would be a brilliant assistant manager because he is focused and organised. He could do the day-to-day coaching," Giggs said in the Daily Mirror. "He gets his point across well on the training pitch."


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