Fergie backs Man Utd spending spree

2014-10-14 09:08

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London – Alex Ferguson has backed Louis van Gaal’s decision to overhaul Manchester United’s struggling squad with a major spending spree.

Van Gaal was hired to clean up the mess left by David Moyes, whose brief reign as Ferguson’s successor at Old Trafford ended with the club at their lowest ebb for two decades.

United responded by hiring Van Gaal and handing the Dutch coach significant funds to breathe new life into the team.

Van Gaal splashed out over £150 million (about R2.7 billion) on Ángel di María, who cost a club record £59 million, Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera, Marcos Rojo and Luke Shaw.

The new signings have already helped United into the Premier League’s top four despite some indifferent performances and Ferguson, who retired after winning the title in 2013, is in no doubt that fresh faces were needed.

Referring to the capture of Di María from Real Madrid, he told MUTV: “When you can identify ability like that for Manchester United, they have the resources to do that – fees I never quite equalled but they needed a big injection this year.”

On the other signings he added: “Herrera played against us three years ago for Bilbao. He’s a talented young player and we scouted him quite a lot. He’s quite aggressive for a lad who’s not got a great frame.

“I watched Rojo at the World Cup and thought he did well. He’s capable of playing left side or centre back.

“Luke Shaw we tried to get when he was 16. They [Southampton] wouldn’t sell him but they always said we would be the first to know if he did. He’s a talented boy, good footballer and likes to get forward.

“Daley Blind is a common-sense footballer, a version of Darren Fletcher a few years ago. And Falcao is the one we’re all waiting to see; he’s got fantastic goal-scoring ability.”

Despite the big-money arrivals, Ferguson is pleased that Van Gaal has decided to use the club’s academy as well, with youngsters Paddy McNair and Tyler Blackett both featuring in defence this season.

But Ferguson is adamant he has nothing to do with Van Gaal when it comes to first-team affairs.

“There’s no ongoing dialogue. He comes into my office sometimes after a game, we have a chat, it’s not a matter of picking up the phone to him as he’s a very capable person, a strong leader.

“He knows what I’m about but there’s no need for him to phone me,” he said.

Ferguson remains a United ambassador and director, as well as filling a number of other roles.

He also continues to work with Uefa and the League Managers’ Association, but says fewer managers are now calling him for advice, as was often the way in the past.

“One or two do, not many. I think they probably think I’m dead!” he said.

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