Whispers around Old Trafford suggest that there is more to Danny Simpson’s loan to Blackburn Rovers. With a huge question mark hanging over Gary Neville’s fitness, our cover at right back is alarmingly short. With Nemanja Vidic getting himself in all kinds of scrapes, Rafael Da Silva may play for more than we’d imagine if Wes Brown is deployed in the centre. Not that I’m complaining, as Rafael looks the business, but we’re putting needless strain on ourselves by loaning out Simpson for a year.

Simpson is already a year older than Gary Neville was when he broke in to the team and has already been loaned out to three clubs. If it was a case of a player needing more experience, surely that is the Da Silva twins, who have had no time playing in England.

So, is there more to Simpson’s loan? And how much will he have to do to impress Sir Alex Ferguson?

With United landing Blackburn’s goalkeeping coach, just 19 days after he took up the position with Rovers, Simpson might have been a bargaining tool to get the coach Fergie wanted, using his loan to ‘sweeten the deal’.

There are also rumours that Simpson is heavily involved in somewhat of an indiscretion and that Fergie is punishing the player and giving him time to sort his head out away from the club.

“I feel settled now,” he said. “I will just keep training hard and when I get my chance I’ll prove myself. He (Sir Alex) said ‘don’t just do your training, do your extra bits you do at United, and don’t be afraid to ask people at Blackburn to do the extra bits because that will improve you’. He also said to me ‘you’d better play well because I’ll be watching you,’ so he’ll be keeping a close eye on me.But I want to prove to myself that I can challenge at this level, so it’s a big season for me.”

Like most players who come close to breaking in to our first team from the Reserves, I want Simpson to do well. I think it’s vitally important to have players from your youth system making the transition to the first team and it’s been a while since we’ve successfully managed that. However, I can’t help thinking that Fergie isn’t involving Simpson in his long term plans, and is using this loan, like that of Phil Bardsley, to put him in the shop window.

Do you think Simpson has a future at United?