| 5.3°C Dublin

Rooney set to boost United with return for Tottenham clash

Wayne Rooney is likely to be fit for Manchester United's clash against Tottenham on Sunday after returning to training this week following his latest ankle injury.

The England forward, who has missed United's last two games after suffering the injury in the 2-1 victory at West Brom on January 1, is expected to reclaim his place alongside Dimitar Berbatov.

Paul Scholes is also in contention for a return to Alex Ferguson's squad after overcoming a groin problem, but goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is losing his battle to face Harry Redknapp's team. Van der Sar has been sidelined for almost two weeks with flu.

Scholes' return -- almost seven weeks after his last appearance, in the Champions League victory at Rangers -- ensures that Ferguson now has a full complement of midfielders. John O'Shea was lined up to end his six-week calf injury lay-off in the reserve match against Bolton last night.

Ferguson's goalkeeping concerns are increasing, however, because new signing Anders Lindegaard pulled out of his planned debut in last night's reserve game.

Van der Sar missed training earlier this week and his continuing absence is likely to see Tomasz Kuszczak retaining his place this weekend.

Ferguson had suggested last week that Van der Sar would be fit to return for the FA Cup third-round tie against Liverpool, but the 40-year-old failed to make the squad, with Lindegaard named as a substitute just four days after the completion of his transfer from Norwegian club Aalesunds.

The United boss has admitted that he expects Van der Sar to retire at the end of the season, although the Dutchman conceded last month that he had yet to make a definitive decision on his future.

But with Ferguson planning ahead by recruiting Lindegaard and making plans to sign another 'keeper in the summer, Poland international Kuszczak insists he is ready to succeed Van der Sar if he is given the opportunity.

Kuszczak said: "I think I am good enough. If Alex Ferguson decides at the end of the season I am not good enough then I will look for another club. I think I deserve my chance."

Ryan Giggs, due to make his 600th league appearance on Sunday, has admitted he would consider the offer of a coaching role from Wales manager Gary Speed.

"If he ever needed any help or ever needed anything from me, that would be no problem," Giggs said. "But at the moment, I wish him all the best and I just hope he can get Wales winning." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent