Queiroz stands by Ferdinand in pay wrangle

Click to follow
The Independent Football

A section of the travelling United fans chanted: "one greedy bastard" and worse following Wednesday's 2-1 defeat to Kashima Antlers here, while Japanese fans held up an obscene placard making the same accusation but using a different (though wrongly spelt) epithet. Ferdinand heard the chants and gesticulated angrily towards the fans with his arm. He also refused to talk to journalists who asked him about his reaction to the chants after the game.

"There is a discussion about his contract but that cannot put a question mark in terms of his loyalty, commitment, desire, professionalism and his will to win for Manchester United," Queiroz said. "He is a Manchester United player. All of us in life, we have things to discuss with our bosses, our companies, but that doesn't mean that we can put a question mark on our duties or have doubts about our commitment or professionalism."

Queiroz also played down the post-match altercation between Ferdinand and Ruud van Nistelrooy saying: "We realised there was a dispute between two players on the pitch but there is nothing serious in that. If there is something, we will take action."

Cristiano Ronaldo will sign an improved United contract next week. The Portuguese winger has been linked with summer moves to Barcelona and Real Madrid, but said: "Everything is sorted out with my contract. I will sign next week when we get back."

Another player who does not want to leave Old Trafford is Phil Neville, despite United receiving several offers for the versatile England international.

"The boss told me that the club have had bids for me but that they have turned them down and that he wants me to stay," Neville said. "That's all I wanted to hear. I'm a Man United player and I've got four years left on my contract. That's where I want to be playing my football."

Neville will have more competition in midfield if Alan Smith gets his way.

"I enjoy playing in midfield," Smith said. "You are always involved in the game even if stuff isn't going well, whereas as a centre forward you sometimes you can get isolated and frustrated. I've played in there for Leeds before and it's a position that I do like. Sometimes I get a reminder to get back but overall I'm enjoying it and hopefully I'm doing a good job."

He added: "The pre-season build up is going well. The main thing is fitness. We've been travelling a fair bit, but the heat we're playing in will make it easier for us when we get back home."

United play the final game of their four-match Far East tour against Urawa Red Diamonds in Saitama tonight. Park Ji-Sung will miss the game after having nine stitches inserted into a gash near his right eye.