Bruce bats back United links

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce has rubbished reports linking him with the Manchester United job once Sir Alex Ferguson retires from the Old Trafford hot-seat.

The 48-year-old made more than 300 league appearances for the Red Devils from 1987-96, and is one of a string of managers to have played under Ferguson at United, including Mark Hughes, Roy Keane, Bryan Robson, Paul Ince and Mark Robins.

Bruce, arguably, has established himself as the most highly-regarded of the sextuplet following successful spells at Birmingham City and Wigan Athletic, before taking over at the Stadium of Light this summer and coming a last-gasp Anton Ferdinand own goal away from defeating United at the Theatre of Dreams.

Recent reports have surfaced suggesting that Bruce is now the prime candidate to replace Sir Alex when he eventually retires - which is expected to be within the next two years.

However, the Northumberland-born boss insists he is fully focussed on transforming the fortunes of the Black Cats.

“I’ve never even given the Manchester United job a thought. It’s not an ambition," he said in the Sunday Express.

“I’m quite happy doing what I’m doing at the moment and we’ll see what develops later on. Who knows?"