Danny Welbeck injury worries ease for Euro 2012 but Manchester United face anxious wait

Striker should be fit for England in June but chances of domestic action in doubt

England's worst fears about the Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck were eased last night when it emerged that he had badly bruised a leg, but not broken it, in the potentially pivotal derby defeat to Manchester City.

United face an anxious wait to see if Welbeck might be fit to play again for them again in the domestic campaign and they certainly require an abundance of goals because of City's superior goal difference. It may be a battle for the 21-year-old to partner Wayne Rooney again in domestic action. Early indications had pointed to a possible hairline fracture of the leg, sustained in a challenge with City's Nigel de Jong which caused a touchline altercation between the United and City managers, Sir Alex Ferguson and Roberto Mancini, during Monday's game. But scans later revealed only bruising, which would appear to make Welbeck a contender for Roy Hodgson's Euro 2012 squad.

United's defeat at the Etihad Stadium showed up again their need for a midfield renewal, as Yaya Touré won that battle. Reports have surfaced that the young French midfielder Paul Pogba, who is arguably Ferguson's most prodigious talent, had opted to reject a new contract at Old Trafford and sign for Juventus. But there were grounds for some optimism last night when the player's agent, Mino Raiola, said that a deal with United was possible. "I'm in Brazil this week. I'm back next week and I will handle it next week. I don't know [which way it will go between United and Juventus]. It could be United," Raiola told The Independent. "I will know next week. I think the boy has a very difficult decision to make."

The agent's tone was certainly far more positive about Ferguson than when this newspaper last spoke to him on the subject of Pogba three weeks ago. "I think Paul's very positive about Ferguson," Raiola said. "Listen, it's a very difficult decision. He will make it next week."

David Silva has said City had begun to lose some hope of catching United at the top. "We were in front, then they were in front and now we are tying with Manchester United and playing to win the title

"There was never a point when we totally gave up on the league but we did get to a point when we knew it was very difficult. All we could do was keep working and get three points after three points and now we are here we have to finish the job.

"It's very important that we finish the job now. Win the two matches and win the title. I am surprised to see United taking an eight-point lead and then giving that up but don't forget that we had a massive lead and we lost it. It's a very competitive season, a very long season.

"This is an important moment for us psychologically because we knew we had to win this game. We did that and now we have to continue concentrating on the job. It does give us the confidence we need for the last two games. The Newcastle game is like a final for us now. We have to win it."

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Sport
Harry Redknapp. Mark Hughes and Ryan Shawcross
footballNews and updates as Queens Park Rangers host the Potters
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
New Articles
i100... with this review
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
i100
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam