Sir Alex Ferguson believes that Paul Scholes's recent fine form will convince the veteran midfielder to scrap thoughts of retirement and sign a new one-year deal with Manchester United.
Scholes, 35, has been offered the extension by United management but has yet to agree terms, having hinted before Christmas that there was a possibility of him retiring when his current deal ends at the conclusion of this season.
But Ferguson has been so impressed by Scholes in a three-man central midfield formation, most recently in the midweek 3-2 win at AC Milan, he believes the one-club man should continue for at least one more campaign with the reigning English champions.
"I'd be happy to give him a new contract," Ferguson said. "I think it all depends on what Paul thinks himself, but you saw his performance on Tuesday and I thought it was brilliant.
"I think his form in the last few weeks has been incredible, it's been absolutely brilliant. There's no need for him to think about retirement as some were saying some weeks ago," the United manager added.
Scholes's form in United's current formation has had one added side effect. The tactic calls for the ever-impressive Wayne Rooney to operate as a solitary forward and has meant limited opportunities for club record signing Dimitar Berbatov.
"It's harder when we decide to play three centre midfield players," said Ferguson of Berbatov's situation. "We could even have played him in Milan, there's no doubt about that, but I think the threesome of Scholes, (Michael) Carrick and (Darren) Fletcher have created quite a consistency, a level, of performance that makes it difficult to change that, particularly in those kind of matches."
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