Ferguson expects no knee-jerk signings
Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is refusing to abandon his long-term approach to transfers despite the loss of Anderson until February with a knee injury. The former Porto midfielder has joined Tom Cleverley on the sidelines for an extended period, leaving United short of numbers in the crucial central area.
However, before the clamour for new faces could begin, the United boss moved to quash any suggestion he could be panicked into the transfer market when it opens in January. "We don't have a scatter-gun approach to signing anyone because we think it may work. We want to think it will work. There is a distinction," he said.
"It is dead easy to say you are going to buy a player but it is not easy to buy players for Manchester United, particularly in January. I don't see anyone who could make us a better team from the ones who are possibly available. I could choose two or three players who I would like to have at this club but they are not available. There would be no point even going there."
Anderson has returned to Portugal amid fears of another major knee injury, putting more pressure on a midfield many fans feel is already short on quality. In the wake of Paul Scholes' retirement last summer, Ferguson did make extensive efforts to bring in new faces. At various stages, Luka Modric, Samir Nasri and more latterly Wesley Sneijder were all linked with an Old Trafford move during the summer.
Yet none arrived. And even now, it seems Ferguson would be more willing to utilise the abilities of Phil Jones and Wayne Rooney in midfield positions than splash out on players he feels are below the standard he requires. There have been occasions in the past, notably with Henrik Larsson in 2007, when Ferguson has made a short-term signing purely to strengthen one particular area of his team.
In this instance, the only person who would fit that bill is Scholes himself, although there has never been any suggestion the 36-year-old could be talked out of retirement even if Ferguson felt it was a viable option. The United boss certainly made it plain he was not willing to abandon the long-term approach to transfers no matter what short-term issues he may have to contend with. "We have a great scouting department," he said. "They have proved it over the years. "That is where we are in the sense of identifying and assessing footballers. It is an ongoing process. Sometimes it takes two years to find someone."