Simpson staying with Champions

SIR Alex Ferguson has told Danny Simpson he is very much part of his plans for next season, which means it is highly unlikely the defender will be joining Ipswich Town permanently.

Derek Davis

SIR Alex Ferguson has told Danny Simpson he is very much part of his plans for next season, which means it is highly unlikely the defender will be joining Ipswich Town.

Simpson spent the latter part of the season on loan at Portman Road after playing eight games for the Premier League champions and Champions League finalists earlier in the campaign.

Like a host of other Championship clubs Town would have been interested in making him a permanent signing, but Simpson said he has been assured his is still wanted at Old Trafford.

He is pencilled in to join the United squad on their pre-season tour to South Africa in July and kick-off the new campaign with them in August, even though he will be competing with the likes of Wes Brown and Gary Neville for the right back spot.

Simpson said: “Sir Alex has told me I'm very much part of his plans and he wants me in his squad next year. I have also been told I'm going on the summer tour with them.”

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Although Simpson is not eligible to play in the Champions League final, there is an outside chance that he could get a medal after appearing in three of Manchester United's Champions' League game this season, although he is not raising his hopes.

He went on as a substitute when they beat Dynamo Kiev 4-2 in the Ukraine and started in the return leg as the Red Devils cruised to a 4-0 win.

Simpson also played in the 1-1 draw in Roma in December

Only the 18 in the squad get medals on the night, although a further seven have been presented in previous years and Simpson at least hopes to be at the final in Russia.

He said: “I got taken off the Champions' League list when I joined Ipswich and I'm contracted here until the end of May so I would not be able to be involved.

“I'm hoping that Sir Alex takes me to Moscow as part of the official party - that would be awesome.”

Simpson admits he did not play as well as he as he can while on loan but has learned from the experience and enjoyed his time at Portman Road.

He said: “I know Charlie Woods (Blues' scout) has been sending regular reports to Sir Alex and Manchester United have been keeping an eye on me.

“I enjoyed myself a lot at Ipswich although I have to admit I did not play as I would have liked at times.”

Simpson made eight appearances for the Blues, seven starts, and was involved in two clean sheets.