Ferguson's home is his castle

Alex Ferguson can stay as Manchester United manager for as long as he wants, the club's chairman Martin Edwards insists.

The Old Trafford supremo is playing down rumours that his double Double- winning manager is unhappy over current contract negotiations. Ferguson, the first manager in football history to twice win the championship and FA Cup in the same season, wants a commitment that will take him through to retirement at 60, in six years' time.

Although United may not want to tie up themselves that far ahead in a single deal, Edwards says he will do everything to keep Britain's best manager. Edwards plans to thrash out a new deal which will certainly confirm the Scot as the best paid manager in the country, a reward he well deserves after his 11th piece of silverware in 10 years. Then he will open a bulging war-chest for the Champions' Cup, a transfer reserve that has been building up untouched, bar a small-change pounds 500,000, during this season.

Ferguson, frustrated by restrictions which hindered the last side he sent into the Champions' Cup, now has an English-based team that would have largely satisfied the Eurocrats before they were forced to sweep away the rules in the wake of Bosman. Now Ferguson plans to trawl through the continental talent on show in this summer's Euro 96 to find the players to realise his final ambition of making United club champions of Europe.

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