Ferguson rules out January transfers

Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out making new signings to ease his defensive injury crisis.

United lost for the second time in three games when they were hammered at Fulham on Saturday.

The result leaves them four points adrift of Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea and Ferguson is acutely aware that unless United's form improves quickly, they can forget about a record fourth consecutive title.

With seven senior defenders - Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Wes Brown, Jonny Evans, John O'Shea, Gary Neville and Rafael Da Silva - out of action, plus keeper Edwin van der Sar, it was felt Ferguson may make an emergency signing, even though he had already ruled out the possibility of out-of-contract Sol Campbell joining the Old Trafford outfit on a short-term basis.

However, with the majority of his players due back at some point in January, Ferguson will not be making any additions.

"That is not come onto the agenda," he told Key 103.

"We hope that Wes Brown will be back in a week or 10 days' time, Rio Ferdinand is improving, Gary Neville is getting there and Rafael Da Silva has now started training.

"We are not so bad and we are not looking at signing players."

Under the circumstances, Ferguson is probably relieved that United's Festive programme has been pushed back from the planned timescale.

What would have been a Boxing Day trip to Hull will now take place on December 27, with the home encounter against Wigan now not being played until December 30.

The Red Devils should be confident of getting maximum points from those two games, even with a weakened line-up, after which they are not in league action again until January 9, when they face in-form Birmingham at St Andrew's.

Despite the denial, Ferguson continues to be linked with new faces.

Fiorentina keeper Sebastien Frey is believed to be being monitored by United, who have still not been informed by Van der Sar whether he is going to extend his career by another season.

Frey does have a £17million release clause in his contract. However, as he has already featured in this season's Champions League for Fiorentina, who have booked themselves a last 16 meeting with Bayern Munich, it seems unlikely the 29-year-old will move at this stage.

Marseille winger Hatem Ben Arfa is also said to be on Ferguson's radar and is available following a bust-up with coach Didier Deschamps.

Signing Ben Arfa would represent a gamble given his unhappy disciplinary record, which includes having to be pulled away from Djibril Cisse during a training ground fracas just a fortnight after his summer arrival at Marseille.

However, having enjoyed so much success with Eric Cantona, who hardly represented a meek presence in the face of authority, that reputation alone is unlikely to deter Ferguson if he decides to pursue the 21-year-old.

News
Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
news

New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

News
people
Voices
Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
voices

By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

Arts and Entertainment
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Hand out press photograph/film still from the movie Mad Max Fury Road (Downloaded from the Warner Bro's media site/Jasin Boland/© 2014 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.)
films'You have to try everything and it’s all a process of elimination, but ultimately you find your path'
Arts and Entertainment
Imelda Staunton as Dolores Umbridge in the Harry Potter films
books

New essay by JK Rowling went live on Pottermore site this morning

News
people

Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

News
i100
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

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes