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Edwin return is Evans sent

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans is pleased to see Edwin van der Sar back between the posts.

The Dutch goalkeeper was sidelined first through injury and then was given compassionate leave when his wife suffered a serious illness.

He has returned from his leave and could face Hull in the Premier League tomorrow at Old Trafford.

Van der Sar played in the Carling Cup semi-final first-leg defeat by Manchester City in midweek after making his comeback in the victory against Burnley last weekend.

Evans said: "Edwin makes a great difference. He is a great communicator and has real composure.

"You can pass the ball back to him and you know he can play it out with either foot. It makes life a lot easier.

"At 39 he has the experience that the other goalkeepers don't have. Keepers don't get into their prime until their 30s.

"He is probably playing the best football of his life. He is a really good professional and a very nice man."

Manager Alex Ferguson has seen his defence decimated by injury this season. However, Rio Ferdinand (back) and Nemanja Vidic (calf) are edging closer to full fitness. Striker Dimitar Berbatov could also come into contention after suffering a dead leg.

Ferguson, however, may be tempted to give the likes of Darron Gibson and Gabriel Obertan a run-out against the Tigers.

The United boss is certain to call on his big guns at Old Trafford next Wednesday when he will be looking to overturn City's 2-1 lead.

Evans added: "I think we can discover our best form. We have always been ones for finishing the season strongly. We have the ability and experience to do it again.


"Any manager would tell you it is nice to have a settled back four. You get a good understanding between each other. This season has taken us by surprise a little bit. Maybe we have struggled a little bit but we know we can improve."

Meanwhile, the Glazer family were breathing a huge sigh of relief after a bond issue raised the £500m investment they sought to get Manchester United's spiralling debts under control.

A formal announcement is due to be made when the New York Stock Exchange opens this morning.

More than 50 low-risk investors, primarily insurers and pension-fund providers, have stumped up the cash at a fixed annual interest rate of 9pc, reports suggest. The interest must be paid quarterly.

The news comes after a United delegation embarked on a week-long series of "road shows" across three continents, sporting a "warts and all" 322-page prospectus in a desperate bid to woo investors. According to the latest accounts for the year ended June 2009, United owed £509m to international banks.

The money raised through bonds will be used to pay back that debt secured against the club. But while the annual interest bill will remain largely unaffected, United -- crucially -- will be freed of the strict financial conditions imposed by lenders that would have made life hugely difficult for the Premier League champions if they were less successful on the pitch.

United will face an annual interest bill of £45m on the bonds, similar to the £41.2m paid in the last financial year, but, unlike the debt at present secured against the club, the bonds do not mature until 2017.


That is also when the payment in kind (PIK) notes, debt for which the Glazers are personally responsible for and which takes the total borrowing to £716.5m, are due to be repaid.

The PIK debt rolls up at an annual interest rate of 14.25pc and has already risen to £202.1m, but with the successful bond issue, the Glazers will have the flexibility to address that matter should they so wish.

They will be able to use up to £70m of the £117m of cash on United's balance sheet to start repaying the PIK notes, which were originally held by three New York hedge funds -- Perry Capital, Citadel and Och-Ziff -- but which are now understood to rest with about 20 so-called vulture funds, financial institutions with an appetite for high-risk loans.

Supporters' groups who have campaigned for the removal of the Glazers are appalled at the amount of borrowing, but, tellingly, the bond issue will remove the risk of not meeting targets and give them more choice about how they spend their profits. United have signed a three-and-a-half year sponsorship deal with Turkish Airlines, which will replace Air Asia as the team's official carrier.