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United boss pours scorn on Lampard link

Alex Ferguson has dismissed speculation that he is considering signing Frank Lampard in the January transfer window.

"You are not going to tell me Chelsea would sell Frank Lampard to Manchester United in January. Do you really believe that?," Ferguson said. "There is no foundation to that.

"Chelsea are like us. They want to do something. The second half of the season is important to us. What can you get in January? The players we'd like we can't get. If the alternative is to sign a second-rate player, we don't want to do that."

United face a daunting FA Cup third-round tie away to Manchester City tomorrow. City head United by three points at the top of the Premier League table. They beat United 6-1 at Old Trafford in October as well as defeating them in last season's FA Cup semi-final.

Ferguson said the club's fans had to accept that City would now be challenging for the top honours.

"They are not going to go away," he said. "We played them in a semi-final last year and the year before, we're both in the Europa League this year and now we are facing them in the FA Cup.

"So we have to get used to the fact that City are going to be challenging for competitions along with us. There's every chance we're going to meet at some point, maybe not every year but on average it's going to be pretty regular."

Irish Independent