Ferguson believes Moyes, not Guardiola ‘top contender’ to replace him at Man U

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson believes Everton boss David Moyes is the right man to replace him at Old Trafford after he retires despite former Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola wanting the job. Ferguson believes Moyes is better suited at guiding United in the long term, and the Scot feels current Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho should be considered ahead of Guardiola. Former Barcelona coach Guardiola is eyeing up the Reds as his next job once Ferguson retires, and the pair is even understood to be meeting this weekend in New York. However, Ferguson admires Guardiola but feels his close friend Moyes, offers a better understanding of English football's demands. "The talk about Manchester United appointing Guardiola is a little premature," the Daily Express quoted a source close to one of the United senior players, as saying. "He actually has two preferred choices – David Moyes and Jose Mourinho. Moyes and Fergie are close and Fergie begrudgingly admires how Moyes has 'outfoxed' him and many other teams over the years," the source added. "Fergie admires Jose greatly but there are concerns that Jose's manner and media links could make him become bigger than the club," the source said.

Fergie pleased with Man U stars' sober Christmas party at Ferdinand's restaurant

London: Manchester United players Robin Van Persie, Ryan Giggs, Phil Jones, Patrice Evra and captain Nemanja Vidic were among the star players who turned up at Rio Ferdinand's restaurant, Rosso, for their annual Christmas bash after they beat Sunderland 3-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday. Manager Sir Alex Ferguson for once was happy with his players' behavior at the party, as the quiet do over pasta and red wine was a far cry from the team's Christmas tear-ups a few years back, the Sun reports. In 2007 they invited 80 women to have a bender with them at a hotel in Manchester. The only incident anywhere near misbehavior this year was Shinji Kagawa and Alexander Buttner doing PSY's Gangnam Style dance.

Man City hierarchy advises Mancini to get rid of 'menace' Balotelli or risk losing job

London: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini has been advised by the influential members of the Etihad hierarchy to get rid of madcap striker Mario Balotelli or risk losing his own job. The Etihad hierarchy has become increasingly embarrassed with Balotelli's behaviour and their manager's reluctance to act when the striker steps out of line, the Daily Express reports. If Mancini continues to dig his heels in over the troublesome striker who he dropped from the squad as City won 3-1 at Newcastle yesterday, and City fall behind in the title race, then his job could be in jeopardy, the paper reported.

Benitez slams Chelsea players' attitude during Club World Cup final loss to Corinthians

London: Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez has slammed his players' attitude during their defeat in the final of the Club World Cup final to Corinthians, saying only the South American champions had the desire to win the trophy. Benitez insisted his side only had themselves to blame as they crashed to a 1-0 defeat in the final in Yokohama, adding global ignominy to this season''s European embarrassment. Corinthians made a mockery of their underdogs tag as Chelsea became the first Champions League holders to fail to win the Club World Cup for six years. "This is the final of the World Cup for the South American teams. You could see this from the first minute," the Telegraph quoted Benitez, as saying. "Our players have some quality but, physically, some of them aren''t so strong," he added. Some of Corinthians'' players also tried every trick in the book to get the referee on side, forward Emerson repeatedly rolling around the floor under contact. Benitez added: "You could see they have experience and, every second, they were around the referee and doing well – and wasting [time] round near the end. I don''t say that as a negative. They were ''managing'' the game quite well." Today''s defeat was Benitez''s second in three Club World Cup finals but, unlike Liverpool''s controversial loss in 2005, he had few complaints about the result and even fewer excuses.

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