Football: Man Utd spending on hold says Ferguson

Ferguson says that the inflated transfer market has put his plans on hold.
Alex Ferguson handed Michael Owen the famous number seven shirt at Old Trafford and then dropped a strong hint that Manchester United’s spending in the summer transfer window was at an end.

United have brought in England international striker Owen, Antonio Valencia from Wigan and young French winger Gabriel Obertan, but were expected to make further signings after receiving $130 million from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid. But as Owen and Obertan were unveiled, Ferguson said that a transfer market inflated by the massive fees paid by Real and Manchester City had dampened his enthusiasm for further acquisitions. “That’s concluded our business,” he told Sky Sports News. “Everywhere the values of players has just shot sky high, “The transfer market just seems to have caught’s an unusual summer and it’s very difficult to get value,” he added. “But I feel we have a good squad, which meant there was no need for knee-jerk reactions, we don’t need to panic because of some players leaving,” in reference to the departures of Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez. Ferguson went on to confirm that he had made a bid for Lyon’s Karim Benzema who eventually went to Real Madrid. “We asked about Benzema and we had a value for him. Lyon have done well because they got 42 million euros but I think we took a sensible view.”

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Ferguson is hoping that Owen, who arrived on a free transfer from Newcastle United, will match the achievements of the club’s previous number seven Ronaldo with a healthy tally of goals. Owen told the same press conference that he was determined to stop up to the mark. “I’m hungry to do well here,” said the 29-year-old star.. “If this challenge doesn’t put a string in your step and a smile on your face then nothing will. I still believe I can do well at a top team like Manchester United.”

United have been linked with a clutch of big name stars in the wake of Ronaldo’s world record departure and Tevez’s decision not to accept a new deal at the Premier League champions. The club’s own official Web site reports the rumors linking them with Inter Milan’s Swedish star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, plus Brazilians Luis Fabiano, Nilmar and Douglas Costa.