Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Football: Fergie Hits out at Agents; THE FRIDAY FILE 2008. Kick-Off: 5.15pm Newcastle Utd V Manchester Utd St James's Park Saturday, Feb 23, 2008. Kick-Off: 5.15pm

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Football: Fergie Hits out at Agents; THE FRIDAY FILE 2008. Kick-Off: 5.15pm Newcastle Utd V Manchester Utd St James's Park Saturday, Feb 23, 2008. Kick-Off: 5.15pm

Article excerpt

SIR ALEX FERGUSON has accused some players of "living in the pockets of their agents" after Manchester United defender Wes Brown rejected the club's final pay offer.

The 28-year-old, who is a free agent in the summer, has rejected an offer of pounds 40,000 a week to remain at Old Trafford, and Ferguson insists the situation "depresses" him.

"We wouldn't have made the offer if we didn't have faith in him. But the players of today live in the pockets of their agents," said Ferguson.

"It's a situation which depresses me at times, it really depresses me.

"Wes has been with us since he was 12 years old, but I don't think that matters these days.

"Agents live their players' lives and if you're happy to go along with that then you get the situation we've got just now.

"But Wes knows this. And the other players have told him."

Despite the fall-out, Brown is in line to play against Newcastle tomorrow at St James's Park.

Beating wounded Reds will be a devil of a task for United - don't miss John Gibson's big-match preview on Page 50

GRAHAM BREWIS

IMAGINE this. Honest endeavour, tireless running, fair tackling, respect for the officials and each other - am I dreaming? No, it was the reserves on Monday evening. I wonder what play-acting we'll see when Ronaldo comes to Toon? No need for it, of course, being blessed with such talent. Can we beat them? Of course we can! Owen and Viduka up front, not Smith please. No Barton either. Emre on at the start plus our wingers, with Faye at centre-half and Beye at right-back. Yes, I see it clearly now. A celebration of football.

PREDICTION: United 3 Man Utd 2

ROBIN KENNEDY

WE need to see a response from the players after recent disappointing performances. If not, we may witness the heaviest defeat at St James's Park in quite some time.

Hopefully, Viduka will partner Owen up front - these two are capable of causing any defence problems on their day. Confidence will be gained if we at least compete and battle for every ball over 90 minutes, but on too many occasions this season this has not happened.

PREDICTION: United 1 Man Utd 4

STEPHEN DAVIS

UNITED have had so much negative publicity this season, with most of it coming from those who favour Man United. …

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