Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has rejected claims that Paul Scholes has decided to retire at the end of the season.
It was reported on Friday morning that 38-year-old midfielder Scholes has told friends he will be quitting the game for a second time next summer. However Ferguson believes the former England international, who was persuaded to come out of a short-lived retirement at the start of the year, would have let him know of any such plans.
Ferguson said: "I would be surprised if Paul had spoken to someone without speaking to me - and he hasn't - so we can dismiss that."
There have also been suggestions this could be 39-year-old Ryan Giggs' final season in the game, and that Rio Ferdinand's United future is uncertain.
Yet Ferguson said: "Ryan could play for another year or two. Rio has been terrific. The speculation comes from our policy of only giving older players one-year contracts."
Ferguson was happy to joke about the prospect of facing Cristiano Ronaldo in the Champions League, after United were drawn to face Real Madrid in the last 16 of the competition.
Ronaldo will be facing United for the first time since he left Old Trafford in 2009, and Ferguson said, with tongue in cheek: "It is in his contract he can't play against us. It would be a disgrace if he played."
The Scot added: "It will be fantastic to have him back."
Asked about his rivalry with Madrid's former Chelsea and Porto manager Jose Mourinho, Ferguson said: "I don't have a great record against him so we need to put that right."