Larsson to make debut as Ferguson looks to buy

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The Independent Football

Following several abortive attempts, Sir Alex Ferguson finally gets to glimpse Henrik Larsson in a Manchester United shirt tomorrow but the thrill of the chase is not over for the Scot who yesterday revealed that Owen Hargreaves is not the only name on his January transfer list.

The United manager allowed himself a Glaswegian smile at England's embarrassing whitewash in Australia before presenting his own straight bat to enquiries about his impending transfer activity, with the exception of the scorn he poured on a Spanish report that claimed Cristiano Ronaldo is bound for Real Madrid. "They haven't made an offer and it is not worth talking about anyway," Ferguson said.

On his interest in Southampton left-back Gareth Bale, Franz Beckenbauer's admission that Bayern Munich would have to consider an offer of around £17m for Hargreaves and Alan Pardew's revelation that Darren Bent is for sale at Charlton, the United manager insisted he had nothing to declare. "I won't discuss any names, it is not fair to anyone," he said. "But we are looking at bringing in one or two this month."

Ferguson was forthcoming on 35-year-old Larsson who, after resisting previous overtures to join United while acquiring legendary status at Celtic, will make his Old Trafford debut when his 10-week loan from Helsingborgs begins against Aston Villa and his former manager, Martin O'Neill.

"Henrik will definitely be involved," confirmed Ferguson, who will start with Tomasz Kusczak in goal in place of the rested Edwin Van der Sar. "His training has been very good, very sharp, and he has always looked after himself.

"I'm looking forward to it. I've admired him for many years and thought on two or three occasions that I had him, but I didn't because he was understandably very happy at Celtic. His record there was marvellous and I thought he changed the game when he came on in the European Cup final last year. He won that trophy for Barcelona."

With Louis Saha nursing a groin strain, Ferguson said he would have no qualms about partnering the Sweden international alongside Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, although it is likely Wayne Rooney will partner one of the veteran Scandinavians in attack. "Henrik and Ole are both great goalscorers and their movement inside the penalty area is one of their great strengths. I think they can play together but I may just start with one against Villa," he said.

Though a veteran of 19 FA Cup campaigns himself, Ferguson believes the lure of becoming the first team to lift the trophy at the new Wembley has injected a fresh incentive into this season's competition. "We are told it is going to be the best stadium in the world - and with the amount of money they have spent on the place, it should be," he said.

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