Manchester United supporters hoping new signings will be made in January following Wayne Rooney's pleas to strengthen the squad will be disappointed. Sir Alex Ferguson says he has no intention of buying in the next transfer window, because new acquisitions would be ineligible for the Champions' League and most of his injured players will be available early in the new year.
It was assumed once Rooney agreed to sign a new contract after threatening to leave that he had been given assurances about what he called "the club's ability to attract the top players in the world".
On Friday alone United were linked with Bastian Schweinsteiger (of Bayern Munich), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham), Marek Hamsik and Edinson Cavani (Napoli) and Jordan Henderson (Sunderland). Ferguson, however, said: "We won't be buying in January, definitely not. If you want someone to play inEurope, you are limited right away. There are hundreds of players cup-tied. You have five months left of the season, I will have Antonio Valencia back hopefully towards the end of February, which is a new player coming back. If Michael Owen gets back, it is another new player coming back. So with the squad I've got, I don't see any reason for us to buy anyone."
Insisting that "there has always been money to spend", the manager even suggested United would "not necessarily" be making use of it in the close-season. But that may be a negotiating tactic, as he knows some senior players are likely to depart.
"We will buy what we need to buy," he said. "We know what we need. There is always this issue if [Edwin] Van der Sar was to retire, or [Paul] Scholes was to retire, or [Ryan] Giggs or [Gary] Neville. But we've had that for two or three years. We are well ahead of that. We know exactly what we have to do with that."
Ferguson does not expect Rooney to return for five weeks, targeting the match at Blackpool on 4 December, which means he will miss England's 17 November friendly against France.