Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed he hopes to sign a striker before Manchester United start their Premier League title defence against Newcastle on August 17. Reports on Sunday suggested Ferguson was considering a move for Barcelona forward Thierry Henry and the United manager didn't completely rule out a bid after Sunday's Community Shield victory over Portsmouth.
"There is a name every day. That is the nature of the business," Ferguson said. "I can't answer it because I've not got a direct answer. It's possible we could sign someone this week. We are trying. We've got one or two options we are looking at and hopefully we can get something done before the start of the season."
A more likely target remains Tottenham's Dimitar Berbatov, although Ferguson refused to be drawn on a possible offer for the Bulgaria striker. "We're looking at options elsewhere, all over the place. We'd like to add to our squad," Ferguson said. "We're making some moves in that direction but nothing to report."
Ferguson should be boosted by the return of Wayne Rooney by the time Newcastle arrive at Old Trafford next weekend as the England striker recovers from a virus that forced him to miss the 3-1 penalty shoot-out win over Pompey.
Still looking for attacking punch
With Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo absent, the European champions lacked a cutting edge but Ferguson insisted he was still happy with his side's display as they won on penalties again just three months after beating Chelsea the same way in Moscow.
"It was a different pressure from a couple of months ago. It was quite relaxed this time," Ferguson said. "I don't know how it got to penalties. We dominated possession and had some good chances, but it's this issue with scoring goals at the moment. But if you are making chances as numerous as we were we shouldn't worry about it. This was as good a test as you will get because Portsmouth are a very experienced and powerful team."
There was another bonus for Ferguson as Gary Neville played 66 minutes in his first start since breaking an ankle in March 2007. "I think we gave him the right number of minutes," Ferguson said. "That was perfect for him. When you think he has been out that length of time and come back the way he has, it's remarkable."
Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp missed the post-match press conference as he struggles with a virus. His assistant Joe Jordan admitted losing on penalties was a bitter blow. "It's disappointing to lose in that manner. Manchester United showed a lot more conviction in their penalties and we had a couple that didn't even hit the target," Jordan said.