PSV accuse Ferguson of 'rude' offer

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The Independent Online

Sir Alex Ferguson has been heavily criticised by the Dutch club PSV Eindhoven for inviting their striker Ruud van Nistelrooy to train with Manchester United.

Sir Alex Ferguson has been heavily criticised by the Dutch club PSV Eindhoven for inviting their striker Ruud van Nistelrooy to train with Manchester United.

PSV have condemned the United manager's suggestion that Van Nistelrooy could continue his rehabilitation from his ruptured cruciate ligament injury with the Premiership champions in October. Harry van Raay, the president of PSV, said: "I think Ferguson should be ashamed. This is very rude of Manchester United. It's unbelievable. I can hardly imagine that someone can call himself Sir and yet say these crazy words. I'm asking myself, how does Ferguson think? It's a mad idea. Ferguson has to realise he first has to contact us."

Sir Alex, who still hopes to sign the striker after a record £18.5m move collapsed in April because of the player's injury, felt the training stint would help to bolster his confidence and speed up his recovery.

PSV will block the move and are angry at what they see as interference from the United manager. A PSV spokesman, Pedro Salazar-Hewitt, said: "We are very upset about this because this is just not how we do things in Holland. Why did Mr Ferguson not call our president? We have a good relationship with Manchester United and there are lines of communication open between the two clubs... If Mr Ferguson is so keen to look after our injured players we have four others he can invite over to Manchester.

"Van Nistelrooy is also our player, not Manchester United's, and he's under contract to us for another three years. We paid for his operation, we're paying for his rehabilitation and we're paying his salary, so there's just no way that Mr Ferguson can invite van Nistelrooy over for a month. What's wrong with our training and rehabilitation methods? We think this is very disrespectful and shows no respect for our club or the player."

PSV are annoyed because the idea could unsettle van Nistelrooy at a crucial phase of his recovery. "We're taking care of him and this is the last thing he needs," said Salazar-Hewitt. "Van Nistelrooy has said that he would like to go Manchester United, but at the moment he needs quiet and rest. He is on vacation at the moment... We're trying to keep him out of the public eye and let him get on with his rehabilitation."

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