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Premier League

Player quota rules pose problem for Manchester United

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admits he is in a dilemma over whether to include injured players Owen Hargreaves and Anderson in his squad under new Barclays Premier League rules.

Every team has to name a pool of 25 players, including eight who have been at the club for three years before they turned 21. Those under 21 do not count.

The list has to be in at the end of the summer transfer window and renewed if needed in January.

No timescale has been given on Hargreaves, who had a recent setback after double knee surgery while Anderson is recovering from a cruciate ligament injury and not expected back until the end of September

Ferguson said: "It does give me a problem, but I have just got to wait as long as I can.

"I have to make a decision at some point of course and it depends on when I think those players can come back.

"Most of it (the squad) is formulated in my mind, but one or two I have to make decisions on."

Ferguson's hand, however, has been strengthened in the United States with new recruit Javier Hernandez linking up with the squad for the first time.

The striker had been on holiday after the World Cup in South Africa, where he scored two goals for Mexico.

Ferguson is debating whether to give Hernandez a run-out against the MLS All-Stars tomorrow at the Reliant Stadium.

"We need to assess what he been doing physically in the last week or so," said the United boss.

"We would like him to play a part in the game because there is a big Mexican population in Houston.

"We want to try and integrate him into the team as quickly as possible but we need to have a chat with him first."

Darren Fletcher and John O'Shea look certain to be rested for the showpiece match as they have picked up what Ferguson described as "niggling injuries".

They both missed the surprise 2-1 defeat by Kansas City Wizards at the Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

Ferguson said: "It is an issue for us at the moment. What we do not want to do is accelerate the injuries.

"We may have to leave them out of this difficult game. Other than that it will be a good challenge for us. Hopefully we get the result we want.

"It is the penultimate game of the tour and the biggest one. We appreciate the record the MLS has against the English sides - they are undefeated in these games."

Meanwhile Ferguson believes Bob Bradley has the quality to succeed in England after the United States manager was linked to Fulham.

Ferguson said: "I like Bob. I like his approach. I think he has got a steely determination about him. I think he has done a fantastic job.

"I know he's been linked to the Fulham job and I don't think it's beyond his boundaries at all.

"He is a young man. And I do not think there is anything wrong with him seeking a challenge in Europe or England, for that matter."

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