Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has stepped up his interest in Steven Defour, sending the injured Standard Liege captain a letter reassuring him that he continues to monitor his progress.

Defour, who is under contract until 2013, was heavily linked with a move to a bigger club in the summer with Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City reportedly interested, while Everton had a £9million bid for the Belgium midfielder turned down. Any hope of a January transfer evaporated when the Belgium midfielder broke a bone in his foot last month but Ferguson is closely following his recovery.

The letter, which has been released to the media, reads: "Dear Steven, I have just heard about your injury and, in the name of Manchester United, I would like to wish you a full and speedy recovery."

It continues: "I am sure at the moment you must be feeling awful and that you'll have all kinds of questions.

"Steven, these are natural worries but I have to tell you that modern medicine and treatments are incredible, you have to have confidence in them.

"I'm going to follow your progress closely and I will remain in contact with your club to have news of your recovery."

Defour was delighted to receive Ferguson's letter but the 21-year-old was swift to point out that the Barclays Premier League club had done everything by the book and had sent it to his club to pass onto him.

"One thing I should like to highlight is that Ferguson has followed his interest officially," Defour told Het Laatste Nieuws. "He addressed the letter to Standard.

"I think the attention is great, but I do not want people think I am already at Manchester, which is no means the case. But if they come knocking, then I would obviously not cause problems."

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