Belfast Telegraph

Sir Alex Ferguson says ‘no’ to new faces at Manchester United

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out making any new signings in the January transfer window.

Sir Alex saw his side beat Tottenham 2-0 in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday to sit five points behind leaders Chelsea.

And he claimed there was no need to bring any new players to Old Trafford in over the winter.

The admission by Ferguson may come as a surprise to many fans, some of whom had been critical of the lack of strength in depth in a United squad littered with players who have yet to fulfil their potential at the club.

Indeed, it was that lack of big names among the United line-up that Wayne Rooney cited as his reason behind asking turning down a new contract — a decision he would eventually overturn.

“We won’t be buying in January, definitely not,” said Ferguson.

“If you want someone to play in Europe, you are limited right away. There are hundreds of players cup-tied.

“You have five months left of the season, I will have Antonio Valencia back hopefully towards the end of February, which is a new player coming back.

“If Michael Owen gets back, it is another new player coming back. So with the squad I’ve got, I don’t see any reason for us to buy anyone.”

Ferguson also revealed Rooney is not set to return from his ankle injury for another five weeks.

Rooney has been suffering from the knock for much of the season, even though he claimed a few weeks ago to have been fit and should have been available to play, much to the annoyance of his boss.

A line was drawn under that dispute, along with the contract controversy and now Ferguson says it will take a few weeks for the England forward to get back to full capacity.

“I think Wayne Rooney will be out for another five weeks,” he added.

“He’ll have to pick up his fitness again. I would think five weeks should be about right.”

Meanwhile, Harry Redknapp might not have been too impressed, but Darren Fletcher has revealed that Nani risked a dressing room ear-bashing if he had not slotted home Manchester United's controversial second at Old Trafford on Saturday.

As Tottenham seethe at the injustice of being condemned to a |2-0 defeat in a fixture where they have endured so much injustice already down the years, within the home dressing room there was a clear view.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the penalty appeal Nani had turned down, or the winger's clear handball which referee Mark Clattenburg opted not to give a free-kick for, once Heurelho Gomes had taken his own ill-fated decision, Nani had to take advantage.

“If he didn't put it in the back of the net, he would have got a b*****king from the manager and the rest of the players,” he said.

“Tottenham will be very aggrieved by that, maybe rightly so.

“There was some misunderstanding from the goalkeeper but the ball was still in play.”

Nemanja Vidic had put United in front with a typically precise header after the Tottenham defence had failed to track the Serbian's run to meet Nani's cross.

It was the second time United's new skipper had found the net this season — and the 1000th Premier League goal to be scored at Old Trafford.

Yet, given his mighty frame, Vidic concedes he should be doing more.

“It is nice to get a piece of history. But there will be more goals here and I hope this is not my last one either,” he said. “I try to score and I should get more, so this one is good for my confidence.”

It was United's fourth successive win in all competitions, a run they will expect to extend with victories in Bursaspor tomorrow and against Wolves when the two sides meet again on Premier League duty next Saturday.

“It's kicking-on time. No more dilly-dallying,” said Ferguson.

“Chelsea are five points in front and we cannot afford to give any more points away the way we did at the start of the season.”

Belfast Telegraph


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