Sir Alex Ferguson says that Manchester United considered making a move for Barcelona’s David Villa before concluding that there “is no value in the transfer” market. It’s a record the Scot has spun too many times in recent seasons, with United’s manager now playing lickspittle to the Glazers’ financial mismanagement.
The Scot’s assertion that United will not spend to bring the world’s best players to Old Trafford in the face of heavy investment by near-neighbours Manchester City amounts to little more than waving a white flag in the transfer market. United can no longer compete at the top of the market, with the club’s £722 million debt biting hard on its competitiveness.
This comes despite a huge increase in ticket prices and commercial revenues over the five years of the Glazer family’s tenure in Manchester.
“We’ve looked at a few options,” said 68-year-old Ferguson, who has recruited youngsters Javier Hernandez and Chris Smalling this summer.
“We did consider David Villa but he was always going to Barcelona. I just don’t believe there is value out there at the moment. I’m very happy with the strength of our squad as it is.”
Ferguson made a similar admission last summer after the club sold Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for £80 million, before bowing out of the Champions League at the quarter-final stage, the FA Cup in the third round and finishing second to Premier League winners Chelsea.
Yet club ceo David Gill continues to insist that the £95 million cash currently sat in United’s bank account is available for transfer spending and not earmarked to pay debt as many suspect.
With key members of United’s squad now in their mid-to-late thirties and the team’s over-reliance on Wayne Rooney’s form and fitness unresolved, the Reds risk further decline next season. It is even arguable the old adage of recruiting from a position of strength has already past the team by, with United now playing catch-up to rivals at home and abroad.
True, the Scot has added Hernández and Smalling to the squad this summer but neither is expected to start the season in the first team. The Mexican may even head to Spain on-loan despite a positive showing during the World Cup in South Africa, while Smalling will begin the season as fourth choice central defender behind Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Jonny Evans.
That United “considered” Villa is of course tacit admission that further squad strengthening is required. But Ferguson’s comments also reveal the extent to which United’s horizons have changed since the signature of Dimitar Berbatov for £30.5 million in August 2008. The Bulgarian, at 27, was just a few months younger than Villa is today, although the Spaniard’s significantly better strike-rate has cost Barcelona just an additional £4 million.
No value, indeed.
Ferguson is of course right about one thing – the transfer market is expensive, with City’s spending unabated and Real Madrid investing more than £260 million last summer. Barcelona, having already acquired Villa, will probably recruit Cesc Fabregas later this summer.
Meanwhile, Chelsea will surprise few if, keen to refresh its squad with a marquee signing, the London club brings in Fernando Torres from Liverpool before the transfer window closes. Even Arsenal, fresh from outstanding financial results, could outspend United this summer.
Yet the real frustration, on the day his squad returns to pre-season training, is not just that United is essentially broke – fans know – but in Ferguson’s repeated attempts to pull down the wool rather than admit the truth.
Real weaknesses do exist within the current set-up and while rivals move forward United remains a 40-year-old ‘keeper, perennially injured central defender, defense-heavy midfield or goal-shy Bulgarian away dropping back even further.
Shame there’s just no value in the market.
14 thoughts on “Ferguson’s tired line convinces few”
That’s about the size of it.
Too bloody right… frustratingly so.
One thing I will disagree with though… “the Glazers’ financial mismanagement.”
I don’t believe they’ve mismanaged anything… I believe they’ve accomplished exactly what they intended. They bought the most valuable club in football, for 25% down… and over time will squeeze a lot of profit out of it… not a bad bit of business, if you ask me.
Damn… I hate those fuckers!
Fergie is 68, not 70. LOL
I agree with alfonso here, cunnng business work. I still curse the so called united supporters who sold their shares. And i find what fergie said about villa quite confusing, firstly because if berbatov is worth 30 million, following that rationale id say villa is worth, eh about 60 million and so is Tevez for that matter!!! I also find it confusing because it meant he was looking for another foward for which i have to ask why? We already have Rooney, Berbatov, Owen, Machaeda, Diouf and now Hernandez and Welbeck will probably go on loan. Unless Berbatov is sold or he’s penciled in as a midfielder which is what he looks like playing so deep then i can’t see room for another midfielder. Personally i was hoping for a midfielder to add some creative edge we’ve beeen missing and to help Scholes with posession someone like Ozil or Khedira who have looked good this summer.
But i can’t see us buying anyone this summer because next summer is going to be big, Giggs, Scholes and Neville will probably retire next summer and i think three players next season are in a make or break situation and that’s Berbatov, Carrick and Hargreaves. Berba has done verry little to speak of, we may have to cut losses with hargreaves and carrick showed last season he couldn’t cut it at united, Xavi and Iniesta had a field day against him in the CL final, we have an average midfield only for Scholes and Giggs and Fletcher does his job but we need a big player to control the game for us. So while i think next summer will be busy for us i can’t see this one with anoyone coming in so we may have to bite our nails and hope some players do step up.
I think we could also do well in letting the young players blossum, i think if anderson is given the same time on the pitch as Nani he could be a big player, he has shown signs, i think Obertan looks like another Henry he needs a chance too, we havent seen what diouf is about yet, Machaeda is still learning and Hernandez looks like a real jem. It seems the best option at the minute is to see which players shine and which need replaced.
this is the depressin truth. my head keeps tellin me that the glazers will know that united need to be successful to stay valuable and they won’t have taken us on to run us into the ground, especially when they just turned down a big offer which would give them a sizeable profit.
but for some reason i just don’t believe it in my heart.
how can the gaffer expect us to believe this shit??
unless the kids are gonna be special….nope, can’t honestly believe that either.
The Gaffer made a deal with the Glazers a few seasons ago to let him buy big to win a few more titles and on the basis that he would cash in on Ronaldo when he was done and keep claiming thereafter that there was no value in the transfer market. The wheeling and dealing was done behind the scenes between our manager and the owners and it truly stinks. With our current squad, I can’t see no 19 anywhere in the near horizon, and definitely no CL. Fact is that Barcelona, Bayern (they’ve now got the most talented youngsters in the world who aren’t afraid of the big stage), Real and Chelsea have far more talent and strength in depth in their squads.
Depressing but we all know it’s the cold hard truth. Hope I’m proven wrong though, truly hope…
The Glazers call ‘success’ top 4 in PL and quarter finals in CL. I.e. the money they can get from that. They dont care about actually winning trophies, added to which, pesky win bonuses would mount up if the team did win something.
UNITED are in the shit.There are so many good players available this summer we have an ageing squad nowadays , Ferguson and Gill will blow smoke up everyones ass saying 95 million is available I for one certainly don’t believe that.
Much as it pains me to say it 24 million for David Silva is a very good buy by our neighbours.
If we get Steven Defour we can chillax. He’s only 15 mill.
i really hate those fuckers…david gill his puppet masters glazers i dont understand why fergie continues to support them….may gill and his masters rot in hell..and for all you uk and european so called ‘supporters’…the shareholders who sold out you are all worse than the glazers….so stop bitching…
In the new climate of United and their debt SAF is right. There is not much value left in the market.
What he means is there aren’t any players that can be bought for 12.5 mill quid and then sold for 80 mill.
DEPRESSING HAVING THE PISS TAKEN OUT OF US……
those who support glazers then pay up the bloody debt.