KENYON: MANAGER SEARCH TO START NEXT YEAR
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The wily Scot is to step down as manager of The Red Devils at the end of next season, but will stay on in an advisory capacity, and Kenyon revealed that the greater priority was to get the team in order to give Ferguson an appropriate send off.
United bolstered their squad with the capture of Juan Sebastian Veron from Lazio and have also tied the majority of the playing staff to long-term deals, with David Beckham the next in line for contract talks.
Kenyon believes that this was the priority, along with making sure the youth structure was correct, and the shift to finding a successor will take place next year.
Speaking on Five Live, Kenyon said: "We have not started the process. The plans in the close season have always been about getting the team in shape for next season, making sure the plans are in place for our youth development, and that critical job will start after Christmas."
Kenyon also implied that Bayern Munich defender Bixente Lizarazu`s `come and get me plea` to Manchester United would fall on deaf ears.
The Frenchman has continually stated that he would like to play at Old Trafford, but Kenyon hinted that the squad is now complete.
When probed about a bid for Lizarazu, Kenyon said: "There was a short-list of players and with Ruud (van Nistelrooy) and Sebastian (Veron) we have two great players joining what is already a fantastic squad, and that was one of the objectives that we set ourselves, and now it is about finalising the last renegotiations of the current squad and then I think we will be very well set for next season."
One player who is determined to be part of the squad is Norwegian striker Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has insisted that he is ready to have his best ever season at Old Trafford, despite media reports claiming that Aston Villa are set to make a bid for his services.
The forward has been working all summer to recover from a knee injury, and feels he will be stronger than ever.
"I see no reason why I shouldn`t have confidence in myself," he said. "This year I plan to be stronger physically and mentally and have my best season for United. My goal is to be involved in all the big matches.
"I have looked after myself in the summer. I am free of injury after my knee operation towards the end of last season and I shall be more attacking."
Reports, meanwhile, are claiming that England international Beckham is close to agreeing a new £70,000 a week contract that will see him secure image rights, which could take his earnings near to the £400,000 a month mark.
United, meanwhile, have slapped a £3 million price tag on transfer listed winger Jonathan Greening, while any interested club would have to pay £1.5 million for Mark Wilson.
The Red Devils have baulked at Liberty Professionals` £1 million valuation of Ghanaian Sulley Muntari after he impressed during a trial at Old Trafford. Ferguson, though, is still keen on Excelsior Mouscron`s Jonathan Blondel, and is also monitoring Benfica keeper Robert Enke`s progress.