Sir Alex Ferguson has refused to get involved in a war of words with Republic of Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni over the future of Manchester United midfielder Darron Gibson.

The Derry-born star excelled for his country in midweek, scoring a fine goal in their 3-0 win over Wales in Dublin on Tuesday evening. It prompted Trapattoni to repeat his call for Gibson to look elsewhere as he struggles to make an impact at Old Trafford.

"I don't know in what context he said it," said Ferguson. "The media today can exaggerate anything now. It may have been a simple message for Darron. Who knows?"

So far this season, Gibson has made just 12 appearances in all competitions, and started only three Premier League games.


 

The Italian has said similar things before, which prompted Gibson to claim he would prefer to make a limited contribution at United than play more games at a lesser club.

Not one normally to encourage other managers to speak about his players, Ferguson might be expected to respond to Trapattoni's latest musings.

However, ahead of Saturday's Premier League encounter with Manchester City, when Gibson may struggle even to make the bench, Ferguson has stayed out of the argument.

He added: "I only picked up the headline of it on Thursday and didn't really bother about the content.

"I know Trapattoni. He is a sensible, experienced man. I don't really give much credence to it. I don't think he would say it to cause mischief."

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Darron Gibson