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May 19, 2011

Ferguson eyes three summer signings

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he is hoping to bring three new faces to Old Trafford this summer in a bid to strengthen his squad ahead of next season.

• Morgan: Fine weak United

Ferguson has already lost Gary Neville to retirement, while Edwin van der Sar and Paul Scholes are expected to follow suit after the Champions League final.

Other players believed to be facing uncertain futures include the likes of Wes Brown, Owen Hargreaves, Michael Owen and Gabriel Obertan, meaning United are certain to dip into the transfer market.

"We have some ideas in mind,'' Ferguson said. "Hopefully we can get them put in place. We have Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes coming towards the end of their careers, Gary Neville has already retired and Edwin van der Sar is retiring, so there are holes we want to plug up in terms of the safety and security of the team for the next few years.

"Of course, we have some excellent young players and a lot of them have progressed, which gives us a great, powerful squad. I am looking at maybe three signings which would boost our overall quality in our team.''

United chief executive David Gill has also promised that there will be some new faces welcomed to Old Trafford, insisting that a "busier than normal" summer can be expected.

It does appear youngsters Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley will be given their chance after impressing during loan spells with Sunderland and Wigan respectively.

However, Gill has given the clearest indication yet that United supporters can expect at least one big-name arrival, and the likelihood is there will be more.

"It probably will be slightly busier than normal,'' Gill told MUTV during the annual Manchester United players' awards ceremony at Old Trafford. "Gary has retired already. Edwin is retiring and Paul has to decide what he wants to do.

"We have been working very hard over the course of the last 12 months to plan which positions we need to fill, identifying those players and trying to work on it. What Alex Ferguson has done very successfully for nearly 25 years is to reinvent the team slowly and integrate them within the established stars.

"That is what we will continue to do. It gives a buzz to everyone at the club when you bring in high quality players. It is something we look forward to with relish.''

United have been heavily linked with Atletico Madrid's 20-year-old goalkeeper David De Gea, although it would go against Ferguson's preference for a goalkeeper with great experience.

Aston Villa's Ashley Young has long been viewed as a potential United target, although more latterly Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder has come into the reckoning.

At United's end-of-season awards, Nani picked up the Players' Player of the Year award, with Rio Ferdinand tweeting: "I voted for Nani for my player of the year, 18 assists+about 10goals speaks for itself! Well done @luisnani on players player of year award!"

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