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Zenit sign Bart Simpson

The Toe Poke 14 hours ago
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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun 30, 2008

Sir Alex predicts transfer spree, but not at OT

Sir Alex Ferguson expects the end of Euro 2008 to herald a busy spell in the transfer market but insists Manchester United will not be rushing to spend.

The United manager has targets, but after a season in which his team won the Premier League and Champions League he is confident in the quality they already possess and could settle on just one new arrival.

Ferguson said: 'The European Championship derails transfer activity. Nothing really happens when the championships are on.

'Obviously, now that is all over, people settle down.

'Managers are back at their clubs and you can get some dialogue now if they are interested, but I wouldn't think (we would buy) any more than one player.

'We are looking at one or two things.'

Ferguson will continue to monitor movement in the market but does not see many transfer dealings being straightforward.

He said: 'People think it's easy to buy players nowadays, but it's not because money plays a big part first of all.

'Clubs with ambitions don't want to sell their best players, so it's not as easy as you'd think and we tend to look for younger ones.'

The United boss, appearing at a charity golf event at Loch Lomond, refused to discuss the possible departure of last season's top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid.

However, Ferguson included the Portuguese international in a list of young players he feels will show improvement next season while revealing that his veteran stars Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Edwin van der Sar and Gary Neville will play an important part in next season's campaign.

Indeed, Ferguson claimed that Neville, who was out for more than a year with an ankle injury, will resume his captaincy duties when he returns.

'I think we have a good team,' the United boss said. 'But I think there is still some development to come.

'There are some young players who appeared last season that did very well but for periods showed their youthfulness by being inconsistent. Those young players will come on a bundle now.

'That triumph of winning the league and the Champions League can only help us and players like Anderson, Nani, Rooney and Ronaldo will emerge from that and be really top players for us.

'Nani and Anderson will improve and that is the reason we bought them, to replace Scholes and Giggs in the long term.

'Giggs is 34 now but with the way we can control the number of games he plays, he still gives us a bit of real quality.

'He won't play every game but if he gives me 25 games of real quality, which he can do because he has looked after himself, that can keep us at the forefront in terms of players who can decide matches.

'And without question Scholes will give us another couple of years at the top level.

'Van der Sar has looked after himself, that's the key to it first of all, and he will be back for us. He will get a good break now.

'I've told him to take as much of a holiday as he wants because at his age he knows what's best for him.'

Ferguson, who claimed he might only make one summer signing, added: 'I hope that Gary Neville can come back, I'm sure he can.

'Of course at 33 it is always difficult if you have been out of the team for a year.

'But he is such a determined character that you wouldn't bet against him and if he does, it gives us another string to our bow in terms of experience which is important at stages of the season.

'He still has the desire and of course he is the captain of the club and that will give him the incentive to get back. He knows when he come back he will be the captain.

'So hopefully it will be another great season for us.'

Ferguson expects the top four of United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal to be battling among themselves again for the title next season.

'I don't see anyone outside emerging so strongly that they are going to interrupt that four,' the former Aberdeen boss said.

'You expect Liverpool to buy players and Arsenal have shown their hand.

'They have bought (Samir) Nasri [who is set to join from Marseille] and the young boy Aaron Ramsay so they obviously will be up there too. So I expect the same ones (to challenge).'

Ferguson was speaking at the Great Scots Cup charity golf event, held at the Carrick course by Loch Lomond where he is the honorary captain.

Proceeds from the event were to be donated to Ferguson's charity, Elizabeth Hardy Ferguson Trust Fund, and the Children's Hospice Association Scotland.

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