United consider May recall

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The Independent Football

David May is ready to give the Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, a new defensive option after recovering from his injury problems.

David May is ready to give the Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, a new defensive option after recovering from his injury problems.

May has returned from Achilles tendon trouble and could be recalled at centre-back in Jaap Stam's prolonged absence, possibly as early as tomorrow's Premiership game at Old Trafford.

May badly damaged his Achilles in pre-season training after overcoming a knee ligament injury that wrecked his previous campaign. But May has now made his reserve-team return and could face a quick recall after Ferguson branded his back line a "shambles" following Tuesday night's 2-1 Champions' League defeat in Anderlecht. May has been out of the United first team since helping to lift the European Cup 18 months ago in Barcelona.

With Stam out for months and Wes Brown still feeling his way to first-team sharpness, May can give Ferguson some experience and know-how at a vital time. Ferguson is unlikely to buy to improve his defence because of European transfer deadlines, so he must look within his own ranks for replacements.

United are giving the American goalkeeper Joe Cannon an extended trial. The 25-year-old San Jose Earthquakes No 1 - voted the best keeper in Major League Soccer - is arriving when there are new doubts about United's other keepers, Mark Bosnich and Raimond van der Gouw. Bosnich was dropped from the substitutes' bench after turning up late for the trip to Anderlecht while Van der Gouw is 37 years old.

San Jose are willing to let Cannon leave if he can find a club and United have the first look at him. The goalkeeper, who has a British passport and will thus not need to apply for a work permit, could be allowed to play for United's reserves during his eight-week stay.

The Manchester City manager, Joe Royle, is allowing his left-back Danny Granville join Norwich City on loan. Granville is now third-choice in the side behind Paul Ritchie and Danny Tiatto.

Norwich will put Granville straight into their side and could possibly sign him in a permanent deal. The Canaries have allowed midfielders Garry Brady and Jim Whitley to return to Newcastle and Manchester City respectively after loan spells.

Dundee United have completed the signing of defender Jim Lauchlan after agreeing to a £100,000 fee with Kilmarnock. Lauchlan was out of contract at Rugby Park, but, because he is under 24, United had to pay compensation for the former Scotland Under-21 international.

* Portugal have rejected a proposal to play a friendly against a Catalan "national" team at Barcelona's Nou Camp on 22 December because of the hostile reception given to their international midfielder Luis Figo when he played for Real Madrid at Barcelona on Saturday.