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Diouf in frame for United

07 Jan 2010 12:50:46

Diouf in frame for United

SIR Alex Ferguson is getting ready to hand Senegal striker Mame Biram Diouf his Manchester United debut. Diouf was signed from Norwegian club Molde in the summer but has only just been able to link up with the Old Trafford outfit as he was allowed to remain with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's old club on loan until the end of their domestic campaign. The 22-year-old has impressed in training though and, after having a work permit granted for Diouf, United have also now received international clearance. While Ferguson will not necessarily include Diouf in his squad for Saturday's trip to Birmingham, the fact he has already allocated his newest recruit the number 32 shirt formerly worn by Carlos Tevez means it is at least a possibility. "He has adapted very well to our training regime and has looked very impressive," Ferguson said. "He is quick, very good in the air and a good striker of the ball. "Overall, he is a really good centre-forward and he will play a part this season." As United are welcoming a youngster, speculation is mounting that they are about to say goodbye to one of their old guard. Gary Neville made his 583rd  appearance in Sunday's dismal FA Cup defeat to Leeds. However, whether he follows long-time team-mates Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes into the exclusive 600 club remains open to extreme doubt. Neville will celebrate his 35th birthday next month, having spent the last three years battling to overcome injury. In stating his intention to hand Giggs - who has already signed - and Scholes new contracts earlier in the season, Ferguson failed to mention his captain, who was overlooked by Fabio Capello when he was trying to find a right-back to act as cover for the most recent friendly in Brazil. It is not entirely beyond the realms of possibility Neville could remain at Old Trafford, where his experience offers such a fine example to younger players, or that he might take up some kind of coaching role for the club he supported as a boy and rarely wastes an opportunity to show his affection for. However, on performances alone, it would be difficult to justify giving Neville another season, although a final decision will not be made until later in the campaign, by which time details should have been released about a testimonial for a player who made his debut against Torpedo Moscow in 1992.


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