Ferguson rules out January spending spree

Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out the possibility of making major additions to his Manchester United squad during the January transfer window.

At the depth of his defensive injury crisis, it seemed inevitable Ferguson would bring in new faces.

Sol Campbell was among those being mentioned, only for Ferguson to instantly reject the theory that he might be interested in a 36-year-old who played in just one League Two game since leaving Portsmouth at the end of last season.

Although United still have injury problems, Nemanja Vidic and Wes Brown turned out at Hull last weekend and were fit enough to face Wigan at Old Trafford last night as the Red Devils recorded only their second clean sheet in six games during a five-goal romp.

With Jonny Evans and Rio Ferdinand also nearing recovery, Ferguson sees no need to spend any more of the £80million he received from Real Madrid for Cristiano Ronaldo last summer.

"Inevitably, people look to this month's transfer window as a solution to our injury worries but it is not the answer," Ferguson told United Review.

"If someone could give me the name of a really good centre-half who would accept a three-month contract then I would jump at the chance. But where do you find a player like that?

"A decent player would be looking for a three-year contract and I don't need that kind of addition.

"It is difficult enough leaving good players out of the team without adding another to the mix, so I won't be looking for a senior player to ease our defensive crisis.

"Hopefully the worst is over anyway and we can get some stability at the back. Once we do that I am sure we will make up the ground we have lost."

With Gary Neville making the bench last night and pencilled in for an outing in Sunday's mouthwatering FA Cup tie with Leeds at Old Trafford, Ferguson has already got more strength at his disposal.

He expects Evans to be available "within 10 days", with Ferdinand not too far behind after United's medical staff finally got to the bottom of a back complaint that has plagued the 30-year-old for 18 months.

"The main thing for Rio is there is no recurrence of the back problem," said Ferguson.

"That is what we have been waiting for.

"We wanted him to come through the test of running and turning. He is doing his programme in the gymnasium, which is good and at the moment it is looking very healthy."

The one piece of bad news in Ferguson's post-Wigan medical bulletin concerned John O'Shea.

When he limped out of the Republic of Ireland's agonising World Cup exit in France last month, Ferguson felt O'Shea had suffered nothing more than a dead leg.

But complications soon became evident. Ferguson now regards United's utility man as a long-term absentee, with a period of two months being mentioned before the Waterford-born star is ready to return.

"There is no sign of recovery at all for John," said Ferguson.

"It is his first injury at the club and he is a big loss because he is such a versatile player.

"We just want to get him back but it could be a couple of months yet."

As he celebrated his 68th birthday, Ferguson was able to put talk of another league title on the backburner.

United are not in action again in the Premier League until they travel to in-form Birmingham on January 9.

But when they resume battle with chief rivals Chelsea and Arsenal, the Old Trafford godfather knows that his side's current position, just two points adrift of Carlo Ancelotti's men, provides the ideal springboard for a concerted challenge.

"We would have liked to be better but given all the injuries, this is where we hoped to be," said Ferguson.

"You have to respect the fact Chelsea have also won games but the second half of the season does not hold any fears for us.

"We have got the squad and with defenders coming back, it gives us the confidence we can handle everything over the next few months."

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