Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed that the older members of the squad shouldn’t be thinking about retirement any time soon.

“Giggs and Rio, the old codgers, can still carry on!” said Ferguson. “Hopefully, we will have Paul Scholes fit in the next couple of weeks because he deserves to play in the last few games. Ryan is struggling isn’t he? He’s unbelievable with his energy. He’s a freak – a unique freak! I tell you he can play for another two years, trust me.”

In the last few weeks of the season, with the title already wrapped up, Ferguson intends to play people who haven’t had as many starts this season.

“Two of the players played with an injury throughout the [Villa] game,” he said. “Jonny Evans and Michael Carrick. Next week, I should have Vida and Rio back and I can put Jones into the middle of the pitch and play Vida and Rio together and we’ll get the experience going to Arsenal. A lot of younger players, the ones who have been on the fringes for the last few weeks, and I desperately want them to feel their contribution has been big. Chicharito, Danny Welbeck, Tom Cleverley and Nani – I think it’s important to get them involved in the last few weeks.”