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Manager Sir Alex Ferguson has played down reports that captain Roy Keane was axed from Manchester United’s Far East tour for disciplinary reasons.

According to reports in the press, Ferguson and the Republic of Ireland midfielder clashed at United’s recent training camp in Portugal.

But Keane’s adviser Michael Kennedy said the 33-year-old missed the tour because of a hamstring injury.

And Ferguson said: “Roy Keane is injured, it is as simple as that.”

Ferguson added: “You cannot travel if you are injured. There is nothing else to say.”

Kennedy said: “He remained in Manchester to continue his treatment for a hamstring injury.

“Any disagreement he may have had with his manager is a private matter and will not be the subject of comment.”

It had been alleged that Keane, who cut short a family holiday to attend the camp, was annoyed over the fact that families were allowed to travel with the players.

Throughout Keane’s 12-year career at Manchester United, he has been a close ally of Ferguson and there have been suggestions that he is being groomed to become Ferguson’s successor.

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