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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Fergie Has Never Had One Bid For Paul Scholes

paul scholesManchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed he has never had a single enquiry for midfielder Paul Scholes during his time at the club.

Scholes is set to make his 600th outing against Portsmouth tonight, with only Bill Foulkes, Sir Bobby Charlton and Ryan Giggs having played more games.

Ferguson said: " We have never had one enquiry for Paul Scholes - because they all know he will never leave."

Scholes was born in Salford and grew up as an Oldham Athletic supporter, but has trained with Manchester United since the age of 14. He then later joined as a trainee upon leaving the Cardinal Langley Roman Catholic High School, Middleton, Greater Manchester in the summer of 1991. In his final term at school, he was selected to represent Great Britain National Schools in football.

Scholes was not a member of Manchester United's 1992 FA Youth Cup-winning squad that included future senior team mates David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, but he was part of the youth team that reached the final in the following season, alongside Phil Neville . Scholes turned professional on 23 July 1993, but did not make his breakthrough into the senior squad until the 1994–95 season, when he made seventeen league appearances and scored five goals. His debut came on 21 September 1994, where he scored twice in a 2–1 victory over Port Vale F.C. in the Football League Cup. Scholes came on as a substitute in the 1995 FA Cup final against Everton, which United lost 1–0.

In 1995–96, after Mark Hughes moved to Chelsea, Scholes had even more first-team opportunities. He stood in for the suspended Eric Cantona as Andrew Cole's strike partner for the first two months of the campaign. Scholes scored fourteen goals in all competitions as United became the first English team to win the double twice. He picked up another Premiership medal in 1996–97, but was restricted to three goals in sixteen league games.

Scholes moved to the midfielder and forward attack positions in the 1997–98 after Roy Keane suffered a knee injury in late September and did not play again that season. United finished the season without a major trophy, only the second time in the 1990s that this happened.

In 1998–99, Scholes was a key player in Manchester United's Premiership title, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League Treble success. He scored one of Manchester United's two goals against Newcastle in the FA Cup final. He also scored an away goal against Internazionale in the CL quarter-final, but was ruled out of the final victory over FC Bayern Munich through suspension.

Scholes netted a career-high twenty goals in all competitions in the 2002–03 season, a number that dipped to fourteen the next year, despite a career-best four FA Cup goals in comparison to his total of five in his first nine seasons. He was ruled out for the second half of the 2005–06 campaign with blurred vision. The cause of this was initially uncertain, sparking fears that it could end his career. He overcame this problem through the beginning of the year and he appeared in Manchester United's final game of the season against Charlton Athletic. Reportedly, Scholes' vision has not completely recovered.

On 22 October 2006, in the 2–0 Premiership victory over Liverpool in which Scholes also scored, twelve years after marking his Red Devils debut with a League Cup brace against Port Vale, Scholes became the ninth United player to play in five hundred matches, joining Sir Bobby Charlton, Bill Foulkes, Denis Irwin, and current teammates Giggs and Gary Neville.

Scholes was dismissed during Manchester United's 1–0 away victory over Liverpool F.C. on 3 March 2007, for swinging an arm at Xabi Alonso. It marked his first league expulsion since April 2005. A month later, he was sent off in the first leg of Manchester United's Champions League quarter final at A.S. Roma. On 23 August, he was shortlisted for a spot in the National Football Museum Hall of Fame, which ultimately went to Dennis Bergkamp.

Scholes suffered knee ligament damage during a training session the night before Manchester United's Champions League Group F matchup with Dynamo Kiev on 23 October, and was out of action until the end of January 2008. He returned as a substitute in Manchester United's 3–1 win over Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round of the FA Cup. On 23 April, Scholes made his hundredth Champions League appearance in a semi-final 0–0 draw at FC Barcelona, and scored the only goal in a 1–0 victory in the second leg that sent United into the final, during which he suffered an injury and a yellow card after a clash with Claude Makélélé. He returned until he was substituted by Giggs in the 87th minute, and did not take part in the penalty shoot-out that was won 6–5 by United after a 1–1 extra-time draw.

Scholes was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in September 2008. In a December 2008 interview with The Daily Mirror, he said he planned to retire from football completely in two years. "I think I've got two years left at the most. I'm looking forward to finishing and everything that goes with it."

On 24 January 2009, Scholes scored his first goal of the season against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup. His shot from out-side the box in the 34th minute deflected in off Tom Huddlestone to bring the game to 1–1, while United would go on to win 2–1. On 18 February, Scholes scored his first Premier League goal in over a year in a 3–0 win over Fulham, a swerving volley that hit Mark Schwarzer and rebounded in.

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