Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson expects Ruud van Nistelrooy to report for pre-season training.
Ferguson was said to have fallen out with the Dutchman after repeatedly leaving him on the bench.
But speaking to club TV station MUTV, Sir Alex said:
“Most players at the World Cup have got a three-week break. Those reporting on 24 July are Gary Neville, Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Gabriel Heinze, Edwin van der Sar and Ruud van Nistelrooy.”
Ferguson did not make any further comment, but the fact he included Van Nistelrooy in the list is significant.
It was widely thought United’s top goal scorer last season would be on his way during the summer following a rift apparently caused by his lame display in an FA Cup defeat by Liverpool.
After that game, Ferguson rarely gave him a start, preferring Louis Saha instead, and Van Nistelrooy later claimed he was told to stay away from Roy Keane’s end-of-season testimonial.
Asked in May if his Old Trafford career might be over, the 29-year-old told Dutch television:
“You could have that feeling but it’s not that certain. No-one has said that to me so far. What has happened is not a positive sign but as long as I can’t do anything about it I won’t be preoccupied.”
Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Tottenham and Newcastle were among the clubs said to be interested in signing Van Nistelrooy if he became available.
Ferguson could have an interesting few weeks ahead of him, with Cristiano Ronaldo due to report back for pre-season training four days after Rooney.
There was an altercation between both players in the World Cup quarter-final match between England and Portugal.