Gary Neville negotiated Manchester United players contracts reveals Alex Ferguson

Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Gary Neville spent part of his career trying to barter better deals for Manchester United's rising young stars.

And that is one of the reasons why he feels the former England right-back would be ideally suited to coaching the next generation now he has retired.

Ferguson said: "Gary has been a terrific example to all the young players here. At times he has helped these young players with their contracts.

"Time and again he has been prepared to fight their corner and make sure they get the right deal.

"I don't know how many times that door has been opened and I've said, 'What now Gary, I have already spoken to you about the boy's contract'.

"'No,' he has replied, 'I think you can do better'. But that's him looking after the young players and they all owe him a debt.

"We should have that presence and coaching ability Gary has at the academy. I do think he has a role to play as a coach, I really do, particularly with the young players.

"He is taking his badges. He is ready to go into coaching and we will just find a role for him. We want him to stay."

Neville's last match was in the 2-1 victory against West Brom on New Year's Day when he suffered an ankle injury.

Ferguson said: "Gary will remain with the team. He will train whenever he wants. 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 this last injury was the final straw for Neville.

"He had this ankle injury and I think that is what really accelerated things for him, " said the United boss.

"If you look at the last four years he's had nothing but injuries. The amazing thing is how he came back from his injuries time and time again.

"Eventually I think, getting that ankle injury in the West Brom game, he felt enough was enough."

Neville may have won 85 England caps and eight titles, yet Ferguson was not convinced in the early years about his ability to play at the highest level.

Ferguson said: "There are two parts to Gary. He was a determined, energetic centre-back in the youth team of 1992 and played centre-back all the way through.

"It was obvious to us height was going to be a problem in terms of having a career at centre-back. That's when we started to alter his role to right-back.

"In those days he wasn't the best crosser of the ball, he wasn't the best passer of the ball but by his own determination and practice, as he did every day, he improved all that.

"He made himself a top player. I couldn't see him being a real top player when he came. Then in the latter part he was. Eighty-five caps for England and 602 games for us is testimony to that."

Neville is almost certain of being granted a testimonial and what the club see as a fitting farewell to the United supporters.

Ferguson said: "That is in the pipeline. We are trying to fix a date, there is something provisional, nothing definite."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
music
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
music
News
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own