For the second summer running Manchester United has failed to make a high profile signing following the departures of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. Sir Alex Ferguson has once again been denying that he has a limited transfer kitty due to the club’s debt: “We have no financial restrictions. If I hadn’t been confident (in the squad) maybe we would have done something.”
He continued: “But there was only one player I would have brought here and that move was sealed off quite early by the club he went to.”
Personally I think he’s alluding to David Villa. There’s no doubt United needed another striker last season. Despite Rooney being excellent the other forwards weren’t particularly good. Thankfully for United Berbatov has started this season well.
Ferguson has said, however, that the club may have to splash out when the old guard finally retire. He said: “There may be a time in the next couple of years where we have to stretch ourselves, particularly when Ryan (Giggs), Paul (Scholes) and Gary (Neville) retire. Then it is a possibility we would need to get really top players in to galvanise the younger ones coming through.”
It’s all smoke and mirrors though. ‘May have to stretch ourselves’, so money is tight then? A minute later he contradicted himself anyway: “The best thing we can do until the market becomes more sensible is produce or buy young players and develop them in the club.”
When exactly does he think the market is going to become more sensible? As long as Manchester City has their billions then money is going to fly all over Europe and with big spending from the likes of Real Madrid and Barcelona as well then transfer fees will be inflated.
There’s absolutely no way that Ferguson would finish a season without a trophy and then not strengthen his squad, unless he wasn’t allowed. Though Hernandez and Smalling will be good players I’m sure, there not going to make a big enough impact to see United become champions of England or Europe again.
When Arsenal won the double in 1997/98, United went and signed Jaap Stam, Dwight Yorke and Jesper Blomqvist for a combined £28m to win the title back.
When Arsenal won the league in 2001/2002, United brought in Rio Ferdinand for just short of £30m.
When the league was won in 2003/2004 by Arsenal and then won by Chelsea the following season, United brought in Louis Saha, Gabriel Heinze, Wayne Rooney, Giuseppe Rossi and Alan Smith.
This season United have spent around £25m depending on which transfer fee you believe. But when you consider they’ve sold Ben Foster and Zoran Tosic for around £6m and £8m respectively, the outlay isn’t very much. With Ronaldo’s sale last summer the club has actually made money on transfers.
When the old guard retire United will have to spend big money replacing them, but I bet they don’t.
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