Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Ferguson defends Manchester United's transfer policy

Sir Alex Ferguson has once again defended his decision not to make major waves in the transfer market this summer - and insisted it had nothing to do with Manchester United's massive debt.

Despite receiving a world record £80million for the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid, Ferguson has restricted his outgoings to £17million on Antonio Valencia and another £3million to recruit Gabriel Obertan from Bordeaux.

In addition, Ferguson snapped up Michael Owen on a free transfer, while Senegalese wonder-kid Mame Biram Diouf has also been signed by the Old Trafford outfit with an eye on the future.

However, the vast majority of United's Ronaldo money remains unspent, much to the chagrin of many fans who feel the Red Devils will struggle badly without the Portuguese.

Ferguson has heard the complaints, and the accusations that a debt approaching £700million is finally starting to bite.

But he offers a more soothing response.

"Pay no attention to the cynics who have suggested our owners have stopped us spending," he told United Review.

"Believe me, it was purely a football decision.

"Maybe it is the Scotsman in me but I believe in value, even when I am spending someone else's money, and the asking price for players we were looking at just wasn't realistic."

Indeed, Ferguson has been happy to let Real Madrid and Manchester City fuel the "inflationary spiral" in the transfer market because he feels the squad at his disposal is good enough to challenge on all fronts.

"What you must remember is that we are working from a position of strength," said Ferguson, whose side tackle La Liga outfit Valencia at Old Trafford this evening.

"We don't suddenly have to splash out to try and compete at the top."

And, while Ferguson has already admitted Ronaldo will be a "massive loss", he denies the argument that United cannot prosper without the world player of the year.

"We were never a one-man team," he said.

"We have other players who will rise to the occasion and fill the gap, of that I am sure."

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