United lose O'Shea for season

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The Independent Football

The Manchester United defender John O'Shea is to miss the rest of the season because of a blood clot in his leg. O'Shea, 28, has not played since the Republic of Ireland's World Cup play-off defeat to France in November as his nation failed to reach the finals. Initially it was thought it was nothing more serious than a dead leg, but there have been worrying complications.

United's manager, Sir Alex Ferguson said: "He has got a terrible injury. The blood clot became all knotted. It's a long process to clear it up and he'll probably miss the season now. It's one of those sorts of injuries that are unusual. It's like a dead leg except a dead leg is usually only three or four days.

"It's a bad blow for the boy and for the team because he can play anywhere," said Ferguson. "When you look at all the problems I've had with the back four this season, he could have played every single one."

United have also announced a new sponsorship deal with Turkish Airlines, days after revealing their debts have risen to £716.6m. The three-year contract will see United adopt Turkish Airlines as their official carrier, replacing Air Asia. Turkish Airlines have already announced a similar contract with Barcelona, which is reportedly worth £2.7m a year to the Catalan club, and United would expect to attract at least the same given their huge fan base.

<< United's defensive dilemmas and Ferguson's art of management Page 69

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