Gary Neville has explained that had he not been offered a year long extension by United, he would have retired this summer.

“When Sir Alex Ferguson asked if I wanted to sign for another year I had no hesitation,” said Neville. “I love playing for the club and I love playing football, so as long as the club feels I can contribute I will always want to play. I’ve always said I’d only ever play for United, so if a new contract wasn’t offered I would probably have retired. I think it would be a disappointment for me to play elsewhere, not because there are no other good clubs but because I’ve been at one club my entire career, so it would probably be difficult for me to adapt. Continuity within the club has brought success – the manager himself is proof of that. Having players who know the club and believe in the club is important.”

With it taking Neville a long time to return fully from injury, our captain concedes he thought he was going to have to call it a day at the end of this season.

“To be honest, if someone had asked me last December if I would be signing a contract for next season I would have said maybe not, as at the time I wasn’t playing much football,” he continued. “But in the last few months things have changed for me – I’ve played more and have enjoyed my football more than I have for the past couple of years. I’ve felt like I’ve had a new lease of life in the last few months after playing in some big games, so I see no reason why I can’t play on for another year.”