Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has hailed the influence of Paul Scholes on the squad.

The 37-year-old reversed his decision to retire in January and, having signed a new deal in May, he'll continue to impart his experience on the side for at least another season.

Ferdinand told "'Sat Nav' Scholes has it all - it's a great opportunity for the young players to learn from someone who has honed his craft for years and can still do it at the top level.

"To think he had a period out and can still come back and play is phenomenal. He's a shining light for all the players to look up to. Long may he continue playing!"

Sir Alex is also thrilled still to be able to count on the midfield maestro's services, but knows he can't go on for ever.

"A year ago, he was coaching my Reserves team," the Reds boss said. "Now he's back playing and everybody attached to United is absolutely delighted because he's such a fantastic player.

"In the long term, trying to replace Paul is a different issue all together. It's going to be very, very difficult. To replace a great player like that would be hard for anyone."