Alex Ferguson critical of triumphant Manchester City for paying 'stupid money and silly salaries'

Mancini quickly puts in his shopping list but Tevez risks controversy with 'RIP Fergie' banner during trophy tour

Sir Alex Ferguson last night castigated Manchester City's decision to "spend a fortune, pay stupid money, pay silly salaries," as Roberto Mancini, manager of the newly crowned Premier League Champions urged his board to avoid a repeat of the tortuous pursuit of players last summer and move rapidly into the transfer market.

Ferguson, unmoved by City's title, said he would stick by his principles of investing in young players, declaring: "We're not like other clubs who can spend fortunes on proven goods. We invest in players who will be with the club for a long time; who will create the character of the club; who will create excitement for our fans. We are very proud of that and we are going to continue that way. We're good at it. If you are good at it then stick with it." He also confirmed that Paul Scholes would be at United next year, suggesting that next season may be the last for both Scholes and Ryan Giggs.

His chief executive, David Gill, said there could be some "interesting developments" in the next few months, and Lille's £30m-rated Eden Hazard provided an intriguing hint last night that he may decide on one or other of the two clubs in the next few days. After receiving France's Player of the Year award for the second successive season, he said: "To Manchester. I can reveal that a decision will be made on my destiny within days."

As City embarked on their open-top bus parade with the trophy, Carlos Tevez stoked the fires by holding up a poster with the words "RIP Fergie". City said he had been handed the poster by a fan and issued an apology to the club and the United manager. Tevez said he meant no disrespect to Ferguson, who he "admired as a man and a manager". United said they would not be reacting to the gesture. City also said that Mario Balotelli's failure to show for a parade for the second successive season was due to his commitment to attend an Italian national squad medical at the Coverciano training base.

As Ferguson spoke of the need to evolve rather than rebuild – "we are always talking about evolving a new team because I've been here for 25 years and I have to maintain a certain standard that keeps us there all the time" – Mancini prepared for what may be another tense summer seeking to persuade his board to buy early. The pursuit of Hazard remains frustrating, despite City giving him a tour of the Manchester property market. City's top priority is Robin van Persie, with the club awaiting the outcome of his discussions with Arsenal, scheduled for Thursday.

Despite his chairman, Khaldoon al-Mubarak, yesterday publicly alluding to the need to comply with Uefa's financial fair play regime, Mancini retains a keen interest in Edinson Cavani, the Napoli striker, as a back-up option if Van Persie cannot be secured. Cavani's agent has been quoting exorbitant figures to City for the past 18 months and the price tag being attached is still an unrealistic €40m (£31m). City's football administrator, Brian Marwood, is understood to be less enthusiastic than Mancini about Cavani, which points to the possible tensions to come with Mancini wanting outlay and Marwood tempering that at times.

Cavani's Argentine team-mate Ezequiel Levezzi, whom Mancini also admires, has a €28m buyout, though he looks more destined for Internazionale. Mancini's staff have also recently watched Athletic Bilbao's exciting defensive midfielder Javi Martinez – not a top target but a contender. The £7m-rated Montpellier midfielder, Younes Belhanda, is being monitored, as a Hazard back-up.

Some sources are beginning to sound extremely pessimistic about the prospects of the Hazard deal being done, al though City's emergence as domestic champions further strengthens the appeal of the club.

The impediment to any early signatures remains the same as that of last summer: the difficulty involved in shifting on players signed at earlier stages of the club's development, who are now a millstone. The club have had only one offer for Emmanuel Adebayor – from Tottenham Hotspur, where he was successful in the season which has just concluded, though there is some confidence that they may reach a permanent deal. The problem for Mancini is that players whom other clubs know City want to release tend to be moved on late in the window.

The picture for Nigel de Jong seems to have brightened somewhat and Mancini is understood to be relaxed about the fact that he is out of contract next summer, having earlier been willing to see him go.

Samir Nasri has thrown the doubts of Arsenal fans back at them, in the aftermath of Sunday's title win. "People at Arsenal tried to make out that I came here for the money. I hope they are watching me now, collecting my Premier League winners' medal," he said. "I believe they have not won a trophy for many years now."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Malky Mackay salutes the Cardiff fans after the 3-1 defeat at Liverpool on Sunday
footballFormer Cardiff boss accused of sending homophobic, racist and messages
Sport
Rodgers showered praise on Balotelli last week, which led to speculation he could sign the AC Milan front man
transfers
Life and Style
life – it's not, says Rachel McKinnon
Arts and Entertainment
Eye of the beholder? 'Concrete lasagne' Preston bus station
architectureWhich monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?
Arts and Entertainment
Arctic Monkeys headline this year's Reading and Leeds festivals, but there's a whole host of other bands to check out too
music(who aren't Arctic Monkeys)
News
Lizards, such as Iguanas (pictured), have a unique pattern of tissue growth
science
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Middle East crisis: We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

We know all too much about the cruelty of Isis – but all too little about who they are

Now Obama has seen the next US reporter to be threatened with beheading, will he blink, asks Robert Fisk
Neanderthals lived alongside humans for centuries, latest study shows

Final resting place of our Neanderthal neighbours revealed

Bones dated to 40,000 years ago show species may have died out in Belgium species co-existed
Scottish independence: The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

The new Scots who hold fate of the UK in their hands

Scotland’s immigrants are as passionate about the future of their adopted nation as anyone else
Britain's ugliest buildings: Which monstrosities should be nominated for the Dead Prize?

Blight club: Britain's ugliest buildings

Following the architect Cameron Sinclair's introduction of the Dead Prize, an award for ugly buildings, John Rentoul reflects on some of the biggest blots on the UK landscape
eBay's enduring appeal: Online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce retailer

eBay's enduring appeal

The online auction site is still the UK's most popular e-commerce site
Culture Minister Ed Vaizey: ‘lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird’

'Lack of ethnic minority and black faces on TV is weird'

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey calls for immediate action to address the problem
Artist Olafur Eliasson's latest large-scale works are inspired by the paintings of JMW Turner

Magic circles: Artist Olafur Eliasson

Eliasson's works will go alongside a new exhibition of JMW Turner at Tate Britain. He tells Jay Merrick why the paintings of his hero are ripe for reinvention
Josephine Dickinson: 'A cochlear implant helped me to discover a new world of sound'

Josephine Dickinson: 'How I discovered a new world of sound'

After going deaf as a child, musician and poet Josephine Dickinson made do with a hearing aid for five decades. Then she had a cochlear implant - and everything changed
Greggs Google fail: Was the bakery's response to its logo mishap a stroke of marketing genius?

Greggs gives lesson in crisis management

After a mishap with their logo, high street staple Greggs went viral this week. But, as Simon Usborne discovers, their social media response was anything but half baked
Matthew McConaughey has been singing the praises of bumbags (shame he doesn't know how to wear one)

Matthew McConaughey sings the praises of bumbags

Shame he doesn't know how to wear one. Harriet Walker explains the dos and don'ts of fanny packs
7 best quadcopters and drones

Flying fun: 7 best quadcopters and drones

From state of the art devices with stabilised cameras to mini gadgets that can soar around the home, we take some flying objects for a spin
Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

Joey Barton: ‘I’ve been guilty of getting a bit irate’

The midfielder returned to the Premier League after two years last weekend. The controversial character had much to discuss after his first game back
Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

Andy Murray: I quit while I’m ahead too often

British No 1 knows his consistency as well as his fitness needs working on as he prepares for the US Open after a ‘very, very up and down’ year
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home