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The United manager has stated that his captain will play no part against Manchester City in Sunday's crunch game at the Etihad, before offering a small hint to suggest otherwise

Sir Alex Ferguson is renowned for his mind games, and appeared to be playing them again when asked whether or not Nemanja Vidic will start in the upcoming derby game against crosstown rivals Manchester City.

The Serbian defender is back in full training after suffering a knee injury against Galatasaray in the Champions League in September, and after a successful operation he is expected to start against Romanian side Cluj in Wednesday's final Champions League group game, with United having already qualified for the knock-out stages.

That has sparked speculation that Vidic may well go on to lead the Red Devils out against Manchester City on Sunday at the Etihad in the Premier League, but Sir Alex was quick to rule out that possibility.

10/1 Man Utd are 10/1 with bet365 to beat Cluj 3-0 on Wednesday night
"No, no, no, but Wednesday is a good starting point, although it depends on the lad himself," the manager told The Sun.

"It will be a big bonus to have him back."

The fact that he hasn't ruled out his captain entirely though, by stating it is down to the player himself, suggests he could be involved on Sunday.

The United rearguard has been distinctly porous in Vidic's absence, notably conceding three first half goals to Premier League strugglers Reading in a 4-3 win on Saturday.