Transfer news: Peter Schmeichel warns Manchester United against making 'statement signing'

New arrival must improve team warns former keeper

Peter Schmeichel has urged Manchester United not to target a 'statement signing' unless they are sure it will improve David Moyes' squad.

Earlier in the summer, it was suggested executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward felt United needed to bring in a marquee player to prove the transition at both managerial and chief executive level following the exits of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill would be smooth.

As it has turned out, neither Cristiano Ronaldo nor Gareth Bale, both linked with Old Trafford moves, have been lured to Manchester.

Indeed, following the failure to land Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara and the brutal rebuttal earlier this week of a "derisory" £28million bid for Everton duo Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini, there are still no new arrivals less than a fortnight before the window closes.

Yet Schmeichel does not feel that in itself is a reason to panic.

For the Dane believes United should stick by their long-standing mantra of only signing players they feel are capable of being an improvement of what they already have.

"I would never bring in a player to make a statement," said the man who captained United to their 1999 Champions League final triumph.

"Maybe with a new manager and a new chief executive they feel a need to tell the fans Manchester United still have the power and money and can still sign the players.

"That is important because there are a lot of fans out there who are unsure about how financially strong Manchester United are and how committed the owners are to spend the money that is being created by the club.

"But the players have to be an improvement.

"If they are not of the right calibre you stay away from it. You don't sign a player for the sake of it."

It is anticipated Moyes will have a second go at landing Baines and Fellaini and with Adnan Januzaj set for a lucrative long-term contract, United are not inactive.

Yet nervousness amongst supporters is exacerbated by the on-going uncertainty over Wayne Rooney's future, with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho hinting after his side's 2-1 win over Aston Villa last night that he would return with a third offer for the 27-year-old after his side's eagerly-anticipated encounter with United at Old Trafford on Monday.

Not that, Schmeichel is entirely convinced Rooney's body language during Saturday's win at Swansea, when he failed to celebrate United's second-half goals with his team-mates, was the sign of a man wanting out.

"I know a lot of people thought Wayne was not celebrating with the team when he scored but he had just made two long sprint runs and was knackered," said Schmeichel.

"He only played 67 minutes for England in pre-season and had not trained that much either.

"Under those circumstances, for him to give us half an hour of top class football and set up the last two goals was fantastic.

"He didn't look like someone who wanted to get away.

"He looked like someone who really enjoyed playing that game. But he was tired. That was obvious."

It all adds up to an uncertain picture, which leaves Schmeichel hoping Moyes' present squad remains intact when the transfer window closes on September 2.

"The squad we have is very strong and broad," he said.

"It has loads of different options in many positions.

"It is fair enough to be looking for strong midfield players who can replace someone like Paul Scholes.

"Tom Cleverley is fantastic but he won't last the whole season because of the way he plays and whilst Anderson is a great player but for some reason he doesn't always look that fit.

"You need someone in there who can run the midfield with Michael Carrick but if September 2 comes and it is the same squad I am quite happy."

PA

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