Toon on course for JJ row?

Last updated : 14 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Whilst the headlines on the issue have been grabbed by Everton’s Wayne Rooney, United stand to lose the services of Jermaine Jenas, Michael Chopra and Richard Offiong at a crucial stage of the season.

Whilst the club may be prepared to let Chopra and Offiong travel to the Middle East they will do all they can to avoid losing Jenas for the three week tournament.

"We will be talking to our FA about the whole thing," said Shepherd.

"Of course it's a concern to lose a valuable player like Jermaine for such a long period when we're scrapping to attain Champions League qualification once more.

"That is a worry in itself but what is going on in the Middle East is another thing all together. We don't know what the world situation will be come March and my first thought is the FA could find it extremely difficult to get Premiership players insured to go to Dubai.

"Certainly it's a situation of genuine concern to this club and we'll be having talks about it."

FIFA have already stated that any player refusing to travel to the tournament could be banned from playing for their club during those three weeks and as Jenas is almost certain to be named as the England squad’s captain the situation doesn’t look too promising.