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Premier League

Scholes admits this could be his final season with Manchester United

Paul Scholes has admitted that he is unsure whether his Manchester United career will continue beyond the end of this season.

The 35-year-old said yesterday that he was dismayed by his performances this season - raising fresh question marks over his future, despite SIr Alex Ferguson's hint that there will be a contract beyond this campaign. "You do think about it. I'm not too sure,” Scholes said. "I'll just carry on with the way it it's going at the moment and we'll see what happens come the end of the season."

While Ryan Giggs continues to perform at the very highest level, Scholes feels his standards have dipped. And, while the 35-year-old has not given any indication whether he would be open to a new contract when his current one expires in the summer, his words do not suggest a positive outcome.

"I wouldn't say I am playing some of my best football," he said. "I don't always feel I am making as much of a contribution as I'd like to."I always preferred it when I was playing regularly and scoring a lot more goals. Now, it's different. I play once every two or three weeks and I can only hope to do well when I get the chance. I don't have a choice.”

Partizan Belgrade’s sporting director Ivan Tomic has hit out at United over the decision not to buy midfielder Adem Ljajic but United assistant manager Mike Phelan has insisted that the decision not to take up an option to sign the player was based on his football development alone."Obviously, every player wants to play every week but I know now it can't always happen. I just have to be okay with that." Phelan yesterday also laid down the challenge to the club’s midweek Carling Cup star Darron Gibson to maintain his development, if he wants to break through as a first team regular. “He scored the goals [against Tottenham] that we know he can score now. He just needs to carry on doing that and I don’t think he will have any problem playing football matches at this club,” Phelan said. “But that is up to Darron. It is very important that he keeps maturing and keeps traning hard with the group of players he’s training with. His opportunities are the same opportunities as any other young player.”