Manchester United FC related news and links

Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, and Patrice Evra all captained their respective countries this past summer in South Africa at the FIFA World Cup. However, only Vidic remains skipper of his national team now. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Manchester United FC head into the international break still alive and doing battle on three fronts. They currently top the table in the Barclays Premier League with a five point advantage on Arsenal FC, however, the North London side have a game in hand. In addition, the Red Devils have reached their 27th FA Cup semi-final, more than any other club. They will clash with 'noisy neighbor' Manchester City in mid-April at Wembley. Furthermore, United have earned passage to the quarter-final of the UEFA Champions League, where they will face Chelsea FC in a two-legged tie in early April. The two-week international break comes at a convenient time for the club as injuries have taken their toll after the congested fixture list. Keep checking in with us during the break here at The Busby Babe as we'll continue to provide news and United-related content.  Here are some links to hold you over on MUFC news on the first few days of the break. 

* Bolton WanderersStuart Holden is out for six months after Jonny Evans injured him in a tackle in this past Saturday at Old Trafford. The American received an apologetic phone call from Evans and the American appears to hold no ill-will towards the United defender. Both appear to have dealt with the issue in a classy way, however, Holden's injury is extremely unfortunate... especially after Nigel De Jong broke Holden's leg last year with a dirty tackle in an international friendly prior to the World Cup. {The Guardian}

* Wayne Rooney flat-out admits that he relishes the opportunity to overtake Liverpool with a record 19th league title. You're not the only one Wazza... {The Guardian}

Rio Ferdinand is upset at Fabio Capello for taking away the England captain's armband away from him. John Terry has been re-instated as England skipper, news that Rio apparently only received while reading the papers. Capello, to the papers and not to Rio personally, cites the United defender's recent injury history as a reason... this reasoning might be acceptable if Capello didn't hand to the armband back to Terry, who himself has spent considerable time on the treatment table recently. {Manchester Evening News}

More news after the jump...

* Shaktar Donetsk's Douglas Costa sat in the directors' box at Old Trafford this past Saturday versus Bolton. United apparently are targeting the 20-year-old Brazilian. {The Guardian}

* Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp says the other Premier League clubs are "handing the title to Manchester United this year." Perhaps 'Arry should spend less time thinking about the title race and more time in qualifying his side again for Champions League. Maicon won't need a taxi if Gareth Bale is in the Europa League. {ESPN Soccernet}

* Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez says Rooney is a monster. This is intended to be a compliment, I don't think the Mexican striker's comments reflect on Wazza's treatment of his wife Coleen. {ESPN Soccernet}

* Lionel Messi says FC Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Chelsea are the favorites for Champions League. No mention of United.... {ESPN Soccernet}

* United goalkeeping coach Eric Steele took in a clash between Schalke '04 and Bayer Leverkusen in Germany on Sunday.... presumably to scout Manuel Neuer and Rene Adler. Both have been linked to Old Trafford as Edwin van der Sar's successor after the Dutchman hangs up the gloves after this season. Here's my look as to who might be the next Manchester United No 1 from a few months back. {M.E.N}

* EPL Talk also discusses who the next United No 1 will be. Part of their discussion includes the obvious goal to avoid another Ray Carroll and Fabian Barthez scenario. 

* United will reportedly visit Massachusetts, Seattle, Chicago, New Jersey, and Washington DC during their summer North American tour. An official press announcement is expected on March 29. {EPL Talk}

* Well hello there. Once again, .Dimitar Berbatov is... The Continental. Hilarious stuff again from the superb Dirty Tackle blog. 

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