Alex Ferguson targets 'three signings' for Manchester United

Sir Alex Ferguson has confirmed he intends to make three new signings this summer.

It was always likely to be a time of change at Manchester United given Edwin van der Sar is due to follow Gary Neville into retirement and Paul Scholes has yet to confirm whether he will extend his career by a further season.

In addition, there are major doubts hanging over senior figures such as Michael Owen, Wes Brown and Owen Hargreaves.

And whilst youngsters Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley will be given their chance after impressing during loan spells with Sunderland and Wigan respectively, Ferguson realises he must bring in new blood.

"We have some ideas in mind," the United boss told MUTV at the annual United's awards ceremony at Old Trafford. "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 have been heavily linked with Atletico Madrid's 20-year-old keeper 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.

The Dutch World Cup finalist would be an obvious replacement for Scholes, whom chief executive David Gill admitted last weekend might opt to call time on his stellar career after the Champions League final with Barcelona at Wembley on May 28.

Ferguson admitted he is still mulling over his likely line-up for that game, although last night he was still revelling in United's record 19th league title.

In particular, he managed a laugh at the antics of some intrepid fans, who managed to get a banner into Anfield proclaiming "MUFC 19 times" which they hung from the Anfield Road End of the ground before making a very quick getaway.

"I wish I had taken that banner to Liverpool on Sunday," laughed Ferguson.

"I bet there were 76,000 fans wishing they had thought of that."

In addition to Nani scooping the players' player of the year prize, Javier Hernandez was crowned fans' player of the year, with Wayne Rooney the overwhelming choice for goal of the season for his magnificent overhead kick against Manchester City at Old Trafford in February.

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