Fergie: no cash splash
Alex Ferguson has insisted that there will be no shift in Manchester United's transfer policy, despite suggestions that the club would invest heavily after Wayne Rooney's contract extension.
Other than the £30.75m deal for Dimitar Berbatov two years ago, United, who secured a 2-0 victory over Tottenham at Old Trafford yesterday thanks to a Nemanja Vidic header and a controversial goal by Nani, have not spent significantly since 2007, and it was suggested they would bring in new faces on the back of persuading Rooney to stay.
Ferguson, who has revealed that Rooney could be out until December with an ankle injury, has always insisted that a lack of value is the reason for United's relatively small transfer outlay since Cristiano Ronaldo's £80m move to Real Madrid last year.
But beyond looking for long-term replacements for Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Edwin van der Sar and Gary Neville, Ferguson is adamant that there will be no shift in United's strategy and does not expect to do any business in January.
"Not necessarily. We will buy what we need to buy," he said, when asked whether United would be in the January market. "We know what we need. There is always this issue if Van der Sar were to retire, or Scholes was to retire, or Giggs were to retire, or Neville to retire, but we've had that for two or three years and we are well ahead of that.
"We know exactly what we have to do with that. We won't be buying in January, definitely not. There are hundreds of players cup-tied for Europe. You have five months left of the season, I will have Antonio Valencia back, hopefully, towards the end of February. With the squad I've got, I don't see any reason for us to buy anyone."
Meanwhile, Chelsea maintained their iron grip on the leadership of the Premier League yesterday, coming from behind to win 2-1 at Blackburn to stay five points clear. "It was an important result," said manager Carlo Ancelotti. "It is very difficult to play here and the win meant we maintained our position at the top of the league."
Arsenal stayed in second place after a 1-0 win over West Ham, as Alex Song's 88th-minute goal proved decisive at the Emirates.
"I believe we have a good chance, but we want to show consistency," said a relieved Arsene Wenger. We need to step up a gear, and I feel there is more to come from this team."
Manchester City are eight points adrift of the summit following a surprise 2-1 defeat at Wolves. Manager Roberto Mancini labelled it the "worst game we have played" this season. "We must find a solution. We must try to change our mentality," he lamented.