Football Football

Man Utd unlikely to buy despite injuries


MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, November 25 – Alex Ferguson says he is unlikely to make any signings in the January transfer window despite mounting injury problems at Manchester United.

Ferguson revealed on Friday that Brazilian midfielder Anderson had suffered a setback to a knee injury and is unlikely to feature again until February while fellow midfielder Tom Cleverley is not expected back until next month because of an ankle problem.

In addition, striker Michael Owen is suffering from a thigh muscle strain although Ferguson told a press conference that he expects Wayne Rooney to be available to face Newcatle at Old Trafford on Saturday after missing Tuesday’s 2-2 draw with Benfica in the Champions League with a knock.

Ferguson has been linked with moves for Inter Milan’s Wesley Sneijder and Luka Modric of Tottenham.

And while the United manager has identified three players he would like to bring to Old Trafford, he says there is ‘no point going there’ in January as they are not available.

“It’s dead easy to say are you going to buy players but it’s not easy to buy players for Manchester United, particularly in January,” added Ferguson.

“I don’t see anyone really who that can make us a better team from the players who are possibly available.

“I could choose two or three players that I’d like to have at this club, but they’re not available so there’s no point going there.”

The injuries to Cleverley and Anderson have limited Ferguson’s options in midfield, but the long-serving Scot believes he can challenge for the title without the need to spend in January.

“We’re not as bad as people think at the moment,” he added. “Ryan Giggs gives you experience of course and Michael Carrick’s form in the last two games has been outstanding.

“He’d had a little problem with his Achilles earlier in the season but he’s got over that now and the softer grounds of course help.

“(Darren) Fletcher, given the right preparation, is always a very good player for us. Getting Cleverley back would be a bonus.

“If we got him back Christmas time that would be a bonus because he’s such a clever player. But I think we’re ok, we’ve got a strong squad.”

Nemanja Vidic is set to return to the defence after being suspended for the Benfica match as United look to cut Manchester City’s lead at the top of the table to two points.

City are away at Liverpool on Sunday and Ferguson is demanding his players put pressure on their Manchester rivals by defeating Newcastle, who start the weekend in fourth place.

Ferguson has been impressed with the work Alan Pardew has done at Newcastle and admits his reigning champions are in for a tough test.

“I think everyone has been taken by Newcastle’s start to the season,” said Ferguson. “They’ve done very well and the credit must go to the manager Alan Pardew. I’ve always rated him highly.

“I remember his spell at Reading and he’s been unlucky with some of his appointments. He was a minute away from winning the FA Cup with West Ham and then he went to Southampton where a change in ownership meant it was a difficult situation for him.

“But he’s grabbed the opportunity at Newcastle very well, he’s lost a lot of players of course, but he’s shown his determination to succeed and they’re all working like trojans up there.”