Ferguson rules out more signings
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson says he will not make any further signings during the summer.
United have brought in Michael Owen, Antonio Valencia and Bordeaux’s Gabriel Obertan to replace departed forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez.
Ferguson revealed he had bid for Karim Benzema, who joined Real Madrid, but insisted he had no further targets.
“It is the end of our business,” he said. “Stories about who we are supposed to be getting – forget it.”
United pocketed £80m from Ronaldo’s world record transfer to Real Madrid and the Old Trafford club had been expected to spend a sizeable proportion of the funds on new players.
Among those to be linked with a move to the Premier League champions are Brazilian forward Douglas Costa, French playmaker Franck Ribery, and Spain striker David Villa.
But Ferguson feels the market is now over-inflated and he does not want to pay over the odds for players.
Real Madrid, for example, have spent in excess of £170m this summer in capturing Kaka from AC Milan, Benzema from Lyon and Ronaldo.
And Ferguson added: “There are some amazing numbers being talked about, not all of them realistic. It is very difficult to get value now.
“In a way we benefited through the sale of Cristiano, although that figure was non-negotiable.
“But I feel we have a good squad, which meant there was no need for knee-jerk reactions.
“We asked about Benzema and we had a value for him. Lyon have done well because they got 42m euros but I think we took a sensible view.”
Instead, Valencia has arrived from Wigan, 20-year-old winger Obertan has been recruited and Owen was signed on a free transfer after his contract with Newcastle expired.
And the England striker has been handed the number seven shirt – the shirt vacated by Ronaldo.
Owen will add extra experience to an attack that still boasts plenty of established talent in Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov, plus youngsters Danny Welbeck and Federico Macheda.
There is no question that Michael will score a lot of goals for us
Sir Alex Ferguson
Ferguson hinted that Welbeck and Macheda, who scored vital goals at the end of last season, will be given opportunities to play their part.
“They are both young players – but young players with ability always get a chance here,” added Ferguson.
Owen, meanwhile, has vowed to recapture his best form and show he will be an important part of the United team.
“I am hungry to do well and if this challenge doesn’t create a hunger and put a spring in your step and a smile on your face then nothing will,” he said.
“I honestly believe I can still do well in a top team like Manchester United.”
Ferguson praised the desire of Owen to prove his critics wrong and is confident the 28-year-old can rediscover the scoring touch that made him one of Europe’s most feared strikers.
“His experience is vital and with Michael you will see the experience he will give us in the penalty box,” commented Ferguson.
“There is no question that he will score a lot of goals for us and he has been great for years and years.
“You always have to be aware of him in the last third.”
Tevez. 25, spent two years on loan at Old Trafford
Ferguson added that he had expected to lose Argentine striker Carlos Tevez, who looks set to join local rivals Manchester City, for several months.
“I half expected Tevez would be going a long time back,” said the Scot
“I spoke to him and gave him an offer on the night we played Inter Milan (in March) and he never came back to me.
“I phoned him on holiday and he never got back to me and I texted him twice and he never got back to me then either, so obviously he had made his mind up a long time ago.
“He was a good player and did well for us. But he obviously assessed the situation and wanted to go somewhere else.”