Wednesday, January 18, 2006
I'm staying at Old Trafford, insists Silvestre
Under-fire Manchester United defender Mikael Silvestre has insisted his future remains at Old Trafford despite widespread criticism of his recent performances.
The 28-year-old has produced a series of below-par performances this season
and was heavily criticised for his poor display in Saturday's Manchester derby
defeat to City.
Sir Alex Ferguson's decision to splash out £12million on defensive
reinforcements Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra has only heightened speculation
over Silvestre, whose current contract has 18 months to run.
There has been speculation the former Inter Milan man may leave the Red Devils
this month, with French league leaders Lyon believed to be interested.
However, Silvestre claims he is going nowhere and is determined to retain his
first-team spot despite the extra competition.
'I am not on the transfer list and I am not going to leave Manchester during
the winter break,' he told L'Equipe.
'I don't care what people say. I feel I am efficient. I play almost all the
matches, my future is at Manchester United and that is where I am planning to
Silvestre has made 314 appearances for United since his arrival from Inter in
1999, initially at left-back, then alongside Rio Ferdinand in central defence.
During that time, he has collected three Premiership titles and an FA Cup,
although his chances of adding to his haul are now limited to domestic cup
competitions following United's early elimination from the Champions League and
Chelsea's 16-point advantage in the league.
Silvestre admits overall performances this season have been no better than
average, a situation which is not good enough at a club of United's size.
'Bowing out from the Champions League before the last 16 was a huge
failure,' he said.
'We are too irregular, we display good performances against big sides and we
lack collective spirit against smaller teams.
'But we have two competitions to win (the FA Cup and the League Cup) on top
of doing well in the league. We can still save our season.'