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United deny Keane depression claims

MANCHESTER UNITED chief executive Peter Kenyon has said reports that Roy Keane is receiving treatment for depression and mood swings have 'no foundation'.

Sunday newspaper articles suggested that the United and Republic of Ireland skipper had also been undergoing 'lifestyle counselling' at the Priory Clinic in Altrincham.

Keane has had a troubled couple of months after being sent off in the Manchester derby, and publicly lashing out at the club, his team-mates and the fans after United's exit from the Champions League.

Kenyon told Radio 5 Live: "I think this is a story that's been around a long time, it's an old story and we have no comment on it. We think it's a story with no foundation."

Keane blasted some of his team-mates following the Champions League quarter-final exit to Bayern Munich initially admitting that the English champions were not good enough and later claiming complacency had set in at Old Trafford.

He said: "I have seen United players getting complacent, thinking they've done it all and getting carried away by a bit of success.

"You can carry maybe one player but no more than that. You can see it in training when players just go through the motions. You can't do that, you always have to give your best. It's up to the manager to spot it.

"Maybe I'll help him, but ultimately the only person who can sort it out is the player himself. Real desire has to come from within."

Of the superstar lifestyles in the modern game, he added: "I'm not comfortable with the adulation footballers receive. I would not idolise a footballer or make them my hero if I was a fan myself. You won't ever see me in the pages of OK! or Hello. Not unless I'm struggling for a few quid."

Keane's comments and indirect criticism of manager Sir Alex Ferguson to magazine Four Four Two follow his stinging attacks on United's 'prawn sandwich' eating supporters, who arrive in their seats "15 minutes into the game".

Kenyon also rubbished reports that David Beckham is bored at Old Trafford: 'I don't think there's any evidence of David being bored but we are now into the season of speculation. I don't think he would ever be bored at Old Trafford."

Meanwhile, Alfie Haaland has inflamed his war of words with Keane. The Irishman received his eighth red card in as many seasons for United following his horrific studs-up lunge on Haaland in last week's Manchester derby.

And it was while fouling former Leeds man Haaland at Elland Road in 1997 that Keane suffered the cruciate ligament injury that forced him to sit out the following season.

Haaland told an English tabloid: "I don't think Roy Keane is in mental balance. I don't think he is mentally right."

Haaland has found himself in a storm of his own making after being pictured next to some inflammatory anti-Manchester United graffiti by a television crew on the streets near Maine Road.

As well as revealing his dislike for United and the club's players he also accused Keane of cowardice because he would not look him in the eye.

"He never dare looks at me in the eyes before a match," said Haaland. "I really dislike United and I can't stand their players."

Haaland said he could not repeat what Keane said to him as he left the pitch following last week's red card: "Telling that would be throwing petrol on to a burning fire - but he did not wish me well.

"Until he looks me in the eye I don't think this is over."

Keane's United team-mate Teddy Sheringham completed an awards double last night as he added the Professional Footballers' Association player of the year prize to the football writers' gong he won last week.

The Manchester United and England striker, who is the oldest winner of the title at the age of 35, headed the nominations in front of Keane and Arsenal's Thierry Henry, in second and third.

Sheringham has yet to agree a new contract at Old Trafford, although they are keen for him to sign a one-year deal.

The former Tottenham forward maintains the recent tradition of players claiming the two most prestigious domestic player of the year awards, following Keane's double 12 months ago and David Ginola's PFA and football writers' accolades the year before.

Sheringham's 21 goals all but six have come in the league helped Sir Alex Ferguson's men to the Premiership title in record time.

Keane is joined on the Premiership team by fellow Republic of Ireland international Stephen Carr who has had a superb season for Tottenham.

Despite the fact that Leeds boss David O'Leary has guided his team to the semi-finals of the Champions League no player from the Elland Road club makes the selection.

Alan Smith has been sacked as manager of Crystal Palace after Saturday's 2-0 home defeat by Wolves that left the Eagles staring at life in Division Two.

Palace, who it would seem need to win both their remaining games at Stockport and Portsmouth to stand any chance of Division One survival, have also ended Ray Houghton's tenure as assistant boss.

PREMIERSHIP - Barthez (Man Utd), Carr (Tottenham), Silvinho (Arsenal), Stam (Man Utd), Brown (Man Utd), Keane (Man Utd), Giggs (Man Utd), Gerrard (Liverpool), Vieira (Arsenal), Henry (Arsenal), Sheringham (Man Utd).

DIVISION ONE - Taylor (Fulham), Finnan (Fulham), Grainger (Birmingham), Coleman (Fulham), Berg (Blackburn), Clark (Fulham), Dunn (Blackburn), Duff (Blackburn), Davis (Fulham), Saha (Fulham), Jansen (Blackburn).

DIVISION TWO - Walker (Walsall), Lawrence (Millwall), Bell (Bristol City), De Zeeuw (Wigan), Tillson (Walsall), Murray (Bristol City), Kavanagh (Stoke), Tinnion (Bristol City), Cahill (Millwall), Harris (Millwall), Butler (Reading).

DIVISION THREE - Pollitt (Chesterfield), Low (Cardiff), Lockwood (Leyton Orient), Blatherwick (Chesterfield), Cullip (Brighton), Hodges (Scunthorpe), Currie (Barnet), Simpson (Blackpool), Miller (Hartlepool), Zamora (Brighton), Earnshaw (Cardiff).