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Manchester United are expected to clarify the position of manager Sir Alex Ferguson in the wake of his dispute with the club’s biggest shareholders.

Ferguson has yet to agree a new contract with the club despite negotiations being conducted for several months and it has been reported that the deal is being blocked by the club’s major shareholders, with whom Ferguson is embroiled in a legal dispute.

Ferguson’s is currently involved in a legal battle with racing magnate John Magnier – the joint leading shareholder of the club with JP McManus – over the stud rights to racehorse Rock of Gibraltar.

It has been suggested that Magnier will call an Extraordinary General Meeting if Ferguson is offered more than a one-year deal.

Magnier is said to be unhappy about the club’s transfer dealings and according to the Financial Times, “will press for the appointment of an independent auditor to scrutinise player transfer deals and payments made to agents over the last five years.

“The pair will make their move if Sir Alex Ferguson is awarded a new employment contract for more than a one-year rolling term, and if the Manchester United board fails to investigate recent allegations regarding payments to player agents.”

United chief executive David Gill admitted the speculation surrounding Ferguson’s future were unsettling.

‘All the speculation has not been helpful, as Sir Alex and myself appreciate 100%,” Gill said.

Ferguson has also expressed his concern about the delay in securing a new deal.

“I understand the fans are concerned, and quite rightly,” he said.

“The publicity over the matter does us no good.

“There are a couple of little things on the contract that we went through on Thursday and Friday.

“We’d like to put the situation to bed and sign the contract straight away.

“That’s my perspective and the club’s perspective.”

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