Date: 19th July 2007 at 4:53pm
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Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed that Utd duo, Alan Smith and Giuseppe Rossi could leave Old Trafford this summer, due to the impending arrival of Carlos Tevez.

Though there had been rumours about the futures of both Smith and Rossi, this news stills comes as a surprise, especially coming just days after United`s manager stated that he didn`t expect any departures this summer.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, Ferguson conceded that the duo may seek a fresh challenge next season.

‘I have to look at Manchester United in terms of how do we improve to get better. And when someone like Tevez comes along, it makes it difficult for people like Alan and Giuseppe in particular.”

Sir Alex then went on to confirm that Utd had already received offers for Rossi, and expected the same for Smith after not being able to promise him regular first team football.

‘We have had offers for Giuseppe, which puts us in a bit of a situation, while the quandary with Alan surrounds his long-term future and getting regular games. There is no doubt Alan did fantastically well for us when he came back last season. He gave the team a spiritual lift and because he is such a fighter, he was an inspiration to us. But he is 26 now and he wants regular football.”

However, he finished on a positive note, stating that while they are still registered Utd players, that it is still in their own hands.

‘The most important thing is that they are our players and we can make decisions when we like.’

So it seems that the rumours are true, and it looks as if Smith and Rossi will follow Kieran Richardson out of Old Trafford. As for their expected destinations, well the rumours regarding Rossi are that Parma want to make his loan spell permanent, however they face still competition from both newly-promoted Juventus and Champions League winners, AC Milan. As for Smith, Middleborough seems the most likely destination, however the rumours of Sunderland and Everton fail to go away.

Wherever they go, I am sure they will be surely missed, Smith was a fans favourite who encapsulated the Man Utd way and to lose him will be sad, and Rossi had bags of potential, and his departure will be equally as disappointing, especially to our chief journalist, Zae, who still feels Rossi can become a hit and Utd. However, the sad fact is that if we want to regain our title next season, and push for European Glory, we need players of the caliber of Carlos Tevez, Anderson and Nani not Alan Smith, Giuseppe Rossi and Kieran Richardson!