Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has indicated there will be few changes to his playing staff as they seek to regain the Premier League title.
United chairman David Gill has insisted the £80m transfer fee from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo is still available for Ferguson to spend on top players – despite the club's financial situation. United's debt is around the £520m mark but the Glazers say they are comfortable with the situation and point out that their assets total £2bn.
However, on possible transfer activity, Ferguson stated: "We'll look at the structure of this club. It's a good structure. I think we've worked hard over the years at bringing in young players and developing them very well. We'll have to assess all that and maybe do one or two things.
"In the market today it's very difficult and the structure of our squad is good in terms of ages, the balance, the numbers and there's a lot of good young players. Sometimes you have to trust in all the development... and I'm going to stick with that – or most of it."
Ferguson's comments come in the wake of news that the club have decided to end their pursuit of Ajax striker Luis Suarez because they cannot afford the £30m asking price. The Uruguayan, who scored 35 goals in 33 league games for Ajax last season, has interested Fergusonfor some time but it appears there will be no deal.
The Scot insists United will retain the Premier League title in 2009-10, having missed out to Chelsea this season. Ferguson said: "Next season we'll go again and bring back the title to the best place in the world. We'll come back next year, that's exactly what Manchester United do."
The Scot believes the controversial award of a free-kick against his side in November's match at Stamford Bridge cost United in their quest for glory. Referee Martin Atkinson awarded a free-kick to Chelsea for a Darren Fletcher challenge on Ashley Cole, although replays suggested the United midfielder won the ball cleanly.
Ferguson continued: "Perhaps crucially the decision down at Stamford Bridge was a bad one against us. That has maybe swung the whole title around, if you think about it.
"There are many things you could talk about. But you can't agonise over these things. I used to do it but... if you look at all these twists and turns, you can torture yourself. Sometimes you get the breaks, sometimes you don't. It happens."
Ferguson also revealed the moment he realised the league title was beyond his team – half-time in the final match of the season at home to Stoke. He explained: "At half-time I accepted Chelsea were going to be champions. We felt it would be difficult for Wigan to get something and when we heard they were down to 10 men, all our hopes evaporated.
"We applaud Chelsea. We know how hard it is to win the title – it's the hardest league in the world and we've won it for the last three years. I congratulate Carlo Ancelotti on a wonderful achievement. He's a good manager and a good guy."
However, Ferguson regards United's Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich as the biggest disappointment of the last campaign.
He added: "I look at the European Cup as our biggest disappointment. We should have been in the final. We were the better team and were fantastic here [at Old Trafford], we just didn't have the luck on the night and that's what can happen in football. You need a bit of luck."Reuse content