Ruud in the dark over situation
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Ruud van Nistelrooy says he does not know why he has slipped down the pecking order.
Ruud van Nistelrooy has admitted he is at a loss to explain why he has so spectacularly fallen from grace at Manchester United.
The striker has proved himself one of the best strikers ever to grace The Premiership since his move from PSV Eindhoven in 2001.
His position at the forefront of the club's attack has been unquestioned for four years, but he has found himself on the outside looking in for the last six months and was ordered away from the club's hotel prior to the final game of the season.
Van Nistelrooy's relationship with Sir Alex Ferguson is thought to be at breaking point, but the Dutchman does not know the reason why.
"I know a lot of people in Manchester don't understand it, well it is the same for me," he said.
"I love Manchester United. That is why I don't really understand it.
"What has happened has happened. I have a World Cup in front of me, so I need to try and forget about it and move on.
"But one thing I want to make clear is that I went (from the hotel) because I had to go, not because I went myself."
A clutch of Europe's bigger hitters are monitoring the situation at Old Trafford with interest, but van Nistelrooy says no decision will be made on his future until after the World Cup finals.
"I have two years left on my contract and if things stay the way they are at the moment I will still be at the club next season," he said.
"But I am not naive and the fact I wasn't involved in the last Premiership game or Roy Keane's testimonial was not a good sign, but nothing is going to happen until after the World Cup."
Van Nistelrooy says his travails at club level are not affecting his World Cup preparations.
"Of course it is easy to concentrate on my football," he said. "We have the World Cup coming up.
"I don't feel there is more pressure on me because I know Marco van Basten (Dutch coach) has confidence in me, as do the other coaches, my team-mates and the supporters, which is all I need.
"I actually feel quite good. I have come into a team that is very motivated to do well. I am part of that and I feel happy with it.
"In that sense, I can forget what happened and try to move on, which is what I am doing."
Internazionale are one of the teams in the frame for van Nistelrooy and reports in Italy suggest the Nerazzurri have offered Argentine midfielder Esteban Cambiasso as makeweight in a deal.
The Red Devils are eager to strengthen their midfield and such a deal could prove attractive to Ferguson.