Ferguson sees no value in transfer market
Alex Ferguson insists he is not suffering from a spending squeeze because of Manchester United’s massive debts.
Sunday’s shock FA Cup defeat by Leeds has been accompanied by a succession of stories questioning the state of United’s finances.
Neither the club, nor the Glazer family, have expressed any opinion on claims they are seeking to refinance £175m worth of payment-in-kind notes that are currently attracting 14.25% interest by launching a bond issue totalling £600m.
The mere suggestion is being taken as a sign that the Glazers are in trouble, which accounts for the fact Ferguson has so far spent just £20m of the world record £80m fee received from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo.
But the Scot, who spoke out on the Glazers’ behalf last month, is sticking to his stance that the reason the cash has not been spent is because he alone does not believe there is any value in the market.
“We have got the money. There is no question about that,” he said.
“I just don’t see that player who can make a difference for us in terms of value or ability.”
Ferguson has bought big during the January transfer window in the past.
Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Louis Saha and Andy Cole all arrived for big money at the turn of the year.
Both Vidic and Evra joined United with decent reputations but struggled badly during their early months at Old Trafford.
It was not until the following campaign that they began to show the talent that has seen them collect a hat-trick of Premier League titles and recognised as two of the best defenders in Europe.
Yet those deals are rare in the experience of Ferguson, who has already declared an opinion that new arrivals will be limited to Senegal striker Mame Biram Diouf, who was actually signed from Molde in the summer.
And nothing that has happened recently has changed that view.
“That is still the case,” he said. “I could never see any real diamonds. Now and again you get one.
“We struck lucky with Vidic and Evra. They turned out terrific players but it took them time to adjust.
“We bought Louis Saha during the window. He was a marvellous player but he got a lot of injuries. We also bought Andy Cole.
“These have been success stories for us. But you can’t guarantee that in January.
“And when you are looking for players to play in Europe you are limited still further because of other teams’ involvement in Europe. You can never be certain.”