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Gill: United can compete with City

Manchester United chief executive David Gill is defiant that the club can compete for the signatures of football's most coveted stars in spite of Manchester City's undoubted wealth.

• Fergie fears City summer spree

United failed to defend their Premier League title this season after being pipped by their Manchester rivals on goal difference following a dramatic final day.

The glory marked an end to a 44-year wait for a league trophy for City, although the charge for silverware was boosted by the financial clout of affluent owner Sheikh Mansour.

Gill is aware the Red Devils cannot compete with City's spending power but remains confident the club will continue to attract top talent, citing their reputation which has been developed under successful manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

He said: "It depends a bit on the player and his advisers and agent. If that player says 'It will just come down to a money thing' then they may out-muscle us. But that's their choice, we still pay very good salaries.

"Whilst other clubs may pay slightly more, we pay very good salaries and I think a player coming to Manchester United has the benefit of playing in front of 76,000 every week.

"We have our history and heritage, the commercial spin-offs if they want to choose to go down that route as well then they are probably better at Manchester United than other clubs arguably anyway.

"We shouldn't be shy or embarrassed or worried about not being able to attract top players because I firmly believe we can. With Alex and what we offer as a club many people want to come and play for us."

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