Gaitan still on the radar as Ferguson looks to fill midfield hole
Sir Alex Ferguson said yesterday he would not employ a "scattergun" approach to buying new midfield players, despite his problems being compounded by an injury which will keep Anderson out until next February.
United, without Tom Cleverley until Christmas, have sent Anderson back to Portugal to see the specialist who operated on his left knee when he ruptured the cruciate ligament in February last year – an injury which kept him out for seven months. He has been missing since he was substituted 10 minutes before the end of the home win against Otelul Galati earlier this month.
The Independent reported last month that United have an interest in Benfica's Nicolas Gaitan, the midfielder who excelled against them in the Champions League in Lisbon in September, though sources in Portugal consider it unlikely that he would sell for less than £35m. Wesley Sneijder is another possible target, though he operates in a more advanced role than the kind of midfielder United seem to be looking for. "I don't see anyone really who that can make us a better team from the players who are possibly available," said Ferguson. "I could choose two or three players that I'd like to have at this club, but they're not available so there's no point going there."
Although Gaitan's agent is Rafael Irribarren, Jorge Mendes – who brought David de Gea to Old Trafford – concluded the deal with Benfica which delivered Gaitan, 23, to Lisbon from Boca Juniors.
Ferguson also insists Chelsea remain in Premier League contention: "If you take Arsenal, they were written off and getting terrible criticism. Now everybody is saying they've a chance of winning the league again. That's what the game does."
Latest in Sport
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever