Giggs reveals Ferguson will stay on until 2008 despite Glazer takeover

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The Independent Football

Sir Alex Ferguson intends to stay at Old Trafford until at least 2008, whoever the owner is. That was the message from his longest serving player, Ryan Giggs, yesterday as Manchester United prepared for tomorrow's FA Cup final against Arsenal.

Sir Alex Ferguson intends to stay at Old Trafford until at least 2008, whoever the owner is. That was the message from his longest serving player, Ryan Giggs, yesterday as Manchester United prepared for tomorrow's FA Cup final against Arsenal.

Giggs this week signed a new contract tying him to United for another three years. He signed after the Malcolm Glazer takeover and he said Ferguson had told him he would remain Giggs' boss for the duration.

"When he was encouraging me to sign the contract he indicated to me that he'll be here for that period of time," said Giggs. "He said he wants to stick around for a number of reasons, to see the likes of Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo and Darren Fletcher turn into world-class players, to win more trophies, and to go out on a high."

In public, Ferguson has not been drawn on his future since the American tycoon bought the club, beyond indicating he will not be making any rash gestures, like walking out. This does not surprise Giggs who said Ferguson remained as hungry for success now as on Giggs' 14th birthday, in November 1987, when Ferguson knocked on his mother's door and asked if the teenager would like to sign United schoolboy forms.

"What sets him apart is his hunger to improve, both for himself and his team," said Giggs. "All the players see that in the gaffer. That's why he keeps on going. That, and his will to win."

Giggs' suggestion that Ferguson wanted to remain to see this team develop was given credence by Ferguson. "There's no question we're building another team to win the title," he said. "We've signed Ronaldo and we've signed Rooney. We've got Fletcher coming through who has been fantastic for us. He's going to be a great player for us. And you have young players like Brown and O'Shea.

"Defensively, the ages of the players are actually young. Look at the ages of the teams that win the European Cup and the average age is normally around 29. Normally. Milan have defenders who are 38, 35 and 34. Of our defenders, Rio is 26, Wes Brown is 25, Gary Neville is 30, Silvestre's 28, Heinze's 26, O'Shea is 22, Phil Neville is 29. God, they are bloody young and yet defensively they have done very well. So that is the foundation."

Ferguson, who will tomorrow become the first man to steer his team to seven finals (a record previously shared with Frank Watt, Newcastle United's secretary-manager from 1895-1930), added: "The next part we are trying to address is the midfield area. We are not going to keep Roy Keane forever and Paul Scholes is 30, although Scholesy can play on for a bit yet. Ryan Giggs is 31 but he can play for two or three years yet. Fletcher is young and we've youth up front. Alan Smith is 24, Ronaldo is 20, Rooney is 19. Those two are going to be fantastic players."

Giggs added: "The players aren't looking at this as being the end of an era. We have got so much quality within the squad. It's just that inconsistency we need to address. This is different to 1995, because the young lads coming in then [Beckham, Scholes, Butt and the Nevilles] were a bit of an unknown quantity. This time we know what the players here can do, the likes of Rooney and Ronaldo, players who can only get better."

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