Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Fergie will keep on spending at Man United after signing Kagawa and Powell

Fresh faces: Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson welcomes Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell to Old Trafford

While showing off Manchester United's two new signings, Shinji Kagawa and Nick Powell, Sir Alex Ferguson revealed that he is likely to venture into the transfer market again before the start of the new season.

Kawaga has signed a four-year deal to move from Borussia Dortmund while Powell has joined United from Crewe Alexandra.

Ferguson also confirmed that the club are willing to be patient with the midfielder Darren Fletcher, who has not yet returned to training following illness.

“We could possibly bring one or two more in,” Ferguson said, refusing to be drawn on speculation linking the club to specific players.

“When there's a major international tournament on, there's a delay in the transfer market. But now the Euros are over we're trying to bring someone in.”

United are confident of landing one of their two targets. “We've always done well in terms of getting players at the end of the season, instead of waiting all summer,” Ferguson said.

“In Kagawa's case, there was a fair bit of negotiating and that kept going for weeks. As for Powell, we knew Dario Gradi [Crewe Alexandra's director of football] would help us do the deal quickly.”

Surprisingly, Ferguson sees Powell as a central midfielder, though the 18-year-old scored nine goals as a striker in the last three months of Crewe's League Two promotion campaign.

The United manager said: “Dario said he thought that [central midfield] was his position. So we're all in accord as far as that's concerned and that's where we'll hope to progress him.

“Football always throws up an opportunity for any one person. If they progress and they're good enough I don't have an issue with that. We play young players all the time.”

Kagawa manufactured a moment every United supporter ought to savour while being unveiled as his side's new signing on a four-year deal.

The eyes of the football world were watching when a Japanese journalist asked how he was developing as a player and about the challenge of playing at Old Trafford.

Looking towards his trusty interpreter on the right, Kagawa allowed himself the cheekiest of small grins, excitement silently screaming, before relaying: “I've always said I have to improve my playing qualities; now I've been here a bit I can really feel the difference.

“I'm happy to be here and every day I'll take the chance to improve myself. It's definitely the greatest challenge of my career.”

It was clear to see the midfielder, on looking at the packed press room and answering questions, knew he had arrived and that this was his destiny.

Looking at him taking all this in, you sensed someone special might be embarking on a love affair with the Premier League.

The possession of a confidence crucial to becoming a success was evident, but that was exuded safe in the knowledge there are a magnitude of reasons why Ferguson decided to pay Borussia Dortmund £13m for his services.

“I definitely feel the attention of the media globally now. I'm a member of a great club at Manchester United. I think I can handle the pressure and am pretty confident I can adapt to the style of the Premier League,” he said.

Playing behind the striker is his forte. Kagawa's movement between the lines was something Ferguson's side lacked last season, where for spells they looked too one-paced to win the title.

He has a willingness to get beyond the striker and has the ability to unlock defences as devastatingly as David Silva — skills Wayne Rooney will have observed with relish.

Another fresh face, Powell, has a similar physique to Fletcher, who has not played since a Champions League game against Benfica last November, due to a chronic bowel problem, and is still unable to train. Ferguson was sympathetic to the Scot's situation.

“Obviously he's got challenges,” he said. “We're happy to be patient with him but he won't be starting the season. It's unfortunate because he's such a magnificent professional and a nice lad, but if it doesn't work out for him he knows he's got a position at the club anyway.”

Positively for United, another long-term absentee, Brazilian midfielder Anderson, is ready to start the season.

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