• Premier League

Fergie: This United side will rule for a decade

ESPN staff
May 5, 2013
Robin van Persie will keep his number 20 shirt © PA Photos

Sir Alex Ferguson has warned Manchester United's rivals that he is planning another "decade of success" at Old Trafford.

Speculation has suggested that Ferguson, 71, could be set to end his time as United boss after it was confirmed he will have hip surgery in the summer.

However, he told United Review that he has no imminent plans to walk away from the club as he is keen to reap the rewards of another generation of young talent.

"This team of champions is not going away - we are here for the long ride," Ferguson said. "We will get better and if we apply ourselves in our normal fashion I see our 20th league title as nothing but the start of another decade of success.

"Whether I will be here to oversee another decade of success remains to be seen, but I certainly don't have any plans at the moment to walk away from what I believe will be something special and worth being around to see.

"It's always difficult in football to be absolutely sure of the future because the game has a habit of tripping you up. But I don't live in a fantasy world and believe we have every reason to feel confident about the future of Manchester United."

Meanwhile, United striker Robin van Persie will continue wearing the number 20 shirt next season despite being offered the number nine by Ferguson. Van Persie took the number 20 jersey when he arrived at Old Trafford as former United striker Dimitar Berbatov already wore number nine.

But despite Berbatov's exit to Fulham freeing up his former number, Van Persie has decided to stick with his and save the fans from having to buy a new kit.

"I think I'll keep it," Van Persie said. "I have the option to take number nine but I don't think I will do that. I'll stick with what is right and what feels good.

"Also, I don't want to be harsh on the fans who have got number 20 on their kit. I don't want them to have to buy a new shirt. It's been a good number for me and now I can at least celebrate the 20th trophy for another year. I'll stick with it."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.