Staying Butt; Nicky Prefers United's Second Best to Leaving

Daily Post (Liverpool, England), September 24, 2001 | Go to article overview

Staying Butt; Nicky Prefers United's Second Best to Leaving


Byline: DAVID ANDERSON

NICKY BUTT claims he would rather be a squad player at Manchester United than a regular at another Premiership side.

Even though Butt made his first start of the campaign against Ipswich, after recovering from the knee injury he picked up in the Charity Shield, he knows he will probably make way for Juan Sebastian Veron or Paul Scholes against Deportivo La Coruna.

Butt has come to terms with the fact that he is more likely to play in low-key games against Ipswich than high-profile Champions League matches such as Tuesday's.

Others have noticed this and Sunderland boss Peter Reid has long admired Butt, while Aston Villa manager John Gregory is said to be willing to pay pounds 8 million for the England international.

Gregory, though, would be wasting his time making a bid and Butt is happy with his lot at United.

He believes it is better to be a bit-part player with one of the best sides in Europe than play a leading role at another Premiership side.

"Personally, I think so and that's why I decided to stay, " he said.

"I'm happy with the situation at the moment. There are a lot of games so hopefully we will all get a few games under our belts "It's nice that other people think you are good enough to pay a lot of money for.

"But nine times out of 10 you take no notice of what's in the papers unless the manager were to come up to you and mention it to you. I just take it all with a pinch of salt."

Such is Butt's loyalty to United that he signed a new long-term deal in the summer even though he knew the club were trying to sign Veron from Lazio.

Veron duly arrived in a British record pounds 28.1million deal to push Butt even further down the midfield pecking order. However, the selfless Butt puts the club's interests ahead of his own and he claims the champions needed the lift that the Argentine international has brought to the team. …

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