Manchester United defender Gerard Pique has been reassured by manager Sir Alex Ferguson that he will play more games next season.

Ferguson's reassurance comes after reports in Spain linked the 21-year-old with a move back to his former club Barcelona.

The 21-year-old has failed to cement a starting place in United's side after impressive form from Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.

"I can see him playing 25 to 30 games," Ferguson told the Daily Star. "He's becoming a really good defender.

"It'll be hard with Rio and Vidic but you need good players."

Reports in Spain say that Barca are interested in the services of Pique after a knee injury forced central defender Gabriel Milito out of action for at least six months.