MANCHESTER UNITED boss Sir Alex Ferguson is poised for an unprecedented £100million-plus summer transfer buying campaign.
The 69-year-old is determined to leave the club in robust health once he decides to retire with a young talented squad capable of winning more trophies.
Despite going to Liverpool today with a team that is the bookies’ favourite to win him a record breaking 19th title, Sir Alex know that surgery is needed in the summer if United are to maintain their high standards of the past decades.
It’s why he is ready to use the chequebook once the next transfer window opens.
United lead the chase for Tottenham ace Gareth Bale and will open up with a £30m offer. Aston Villa’s Ashley Young is bound for Old Trafford for £20m, after Ferguson narrowly missed out on snapping him up in January.
Sunderland midfielder Jordan Henderson is another likely capture for £15m, though Michael Carrick could be included in the deal despite having recently signed a new contract. United are in for Everton’s emerging star Jack Rodwell too.
Sir Alex Ferguson is poised for an unprecedented £100million-plus summer transfer buying campaign
The parlous state of the Goodison finances means the board would be hard-pressed to reject a £20m offer for Rodwell, especially with Arsenal also expressing an interest.
Ferguson has also told Southampton that he will beat any offer or personal terms for exciting teenage winger Alex Chamberlain, meaning the Saints flyer is likely to land at United for around £10m.
And with United also intent on spending at least £10m on a top-line keeper at the end of the season to replace the retiring Edwin van der Sar, Ferguson is committed to a summer outlay of more than £100m.
Clearly some will wonder where the money for these moves is coming from given the much talked about debt the Glazers have accrued but that said the club’s owners have repeatedly assured Sir Alex Ferguson that money would be available for additions and indeed they also apparently promised Wayne Rooney that the club’s ambitions would be matched by cold hard cash.
A number of the Old Trafford squad are nearing the end of their successful careers. Gary Neville has quit, Edwin van der Sar will hang up his gloves in the summer and the likes of Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs have a season or two left in the tank. Then add to that list the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Wes Brown, Michael Carrick, Park Ji-Sung, John O’Shea, Dimitar Berbatov, Michael Owen, Owen Hargreaves and Nemanja Vidic who are all over 30 or approaching that milestone this year and it is clear that a freshening up of the squad is necessary.
Sir Alex Ferguson may struggle to land Gareth Bale as Tottenham do not appear to have any intention of letting the Welsh youngster go, but the other targets are all eminently plausible with the pursuits of Ashley Young and Jack Rodwell being long running affairs for the Man United boss.
The search for a new keeper may prove to be the most problematic for the club and Ferguson knows well just how important finding a reliable pair of hands to place behind his back-line will be. Sir Alex’s big periods of success have coincided with the reigns of Peter Schmeichel and van der Sar and the club has struggled somewhat with other custodians at the helm.
At present the likes of Manuel Neuer and Pepe Reina are seemingly top of the club’s wish-list and either capture would be worthy ones.
Livescore @ letgetlive