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United to offer Giggs new deal

Manchester United are to open contract talks with Ryan Giggs in a bid to secure the 37-year-old a new one-year deal at Old Trafford, writes Mark Ogden.

Giggs, who made his 600th league appearance for United in Sunday's 0-0 draw at Tottenham and will mark the 20th anniversary of his United debut in March, has just six months left to run on his present contract.

Fellow midfielder Paul Scholes is also expected to be offered new terms before the end of the season, but Gary Neville, who is the subject of interest from Abu Dhabi-based Al Jazira, is unlikely to be retained when his contract expires in June.

Rafael da Silva has accepted a Football Association charge of improper conduct in an effort to escape an additional one-match suspension from his dismissal against Tottenham at the weekend.

The Brazilian full-back was charged on Monday following his reaction to being sent off for two bookable offences.

Across Manchester, Mario Balotelli aimed a swipe at Wayne Rooney and claimed that Man City's strike force is far better than anything their city rivals have to offer.

"Our attack of Balotelli, Tevez, Dzeko is the best in the world," said Balotelli, who is sidelined with a recurrence of a knee problem.

"We are better even than Barcelona and Real Madrid, and certainly better than Manchester United, whose main striker (Rooney) has scored just three times this season. He is a very good player but not the best in Manchester."

Meanwhile, Real Madrid's courtship of Tevez is understood to have started again, with coach Jose Mourinho identifying the striker as his main transfer target. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent