Scholes move a non-starter

Reporter: Tony Bugby
Date published: 17 September 2009

SIR Alex Ferguson has effectively scotched the mouth-watering prospect of Manchester United legend Paul Scholes finishing his career with Athletic.

The Reds manager is convinced that midfield man Scholes, who celebrates his 35th birthday in November, will quit at the top when his playing days eventually end.

“I have read that stuff about him at Oldham in his last year - no chance. He isn’t going to drop through the leagues, I am sure of that,” declared Ferguson.

The United chief believes Scholes will carry on until at least the 2011 season and, after almost 20 years at Old Trafford, it would be difficult for him to play elsewhere.

Ferguson continued: “We will have to look at the season as a whole and see what happens.

“He won’t be playing the entire season, but that’s why we have a squad of players.

“He’ll miss more than he plays but if I can get 25 games out of him at the level we saw against Spurs and Besiktas we’ll be delighted.

“I don’t think it will be his last season, not the way he plays. He’s not the type that bursts into the penalty box these days.”

Scholes underlined his value to the team by scoring the match-winning goal for the Reds in a 1-0 Champions League victory in Turkey against Besiktas.

Scholes is among a select band of players who have made over 600 first-team appearances for the Reds. His total stands at 611 games which have yielded 143 goals.

The Grasscroft-based Scholes was raised in Langley, Middleton, but has supported Athletic since childhood and even today is still a visitor to Boundary Park when his footballing commitments permit.

Athletic, meanwhile, are continuing their preparations for Saturday’s home league game against Carlisle.

The Cumbrian club looks set to receive a boost with striker Kevan Hurst expected to shake off a knee injury picked up in Saturday’s home defeat by Brighton.

The 24-year-old Hurst has proved a big hit since his move from Scunthorpe last month. He scored on his debut in a 2-1 win against Stockport and has appeared in all seven games since his arrival.