English Premiership

Fergie: No shopping spree

2011-12-16 17:08
Alex Ferguson (AP)

Manchester - Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson ruled out a January transfer window spree on Friday despite a mounting injury crisis at his club.

Midfielder Darren Fletcher this week became the latest player to join United's casualty list, which already includes captain Nemanja Vidic, who will miss the rest of the season, and striker Javier Hernandez.

But despite calls for Ferguson to bolster his squad - with particular concern over his midfield - the United manager said Friday he will only buy if the right player becomes available.

Asked if he expected United to sign any new players next month: "Not neccessarily. I don't know why people keep going on about it.

"(I won't buy) unless someone appears we have always been interested in appears, but there isn't.

"Darren's obviously such a great professional, it is not easy to replace that, but we will think about it."

Ferguson's "thinking about it" is a reference to his existing in-house options, rather than a plan to operate in the transfer market and the United manager is already weighing up his alternatives.

"If you look at the options, Phil Jones has played a couple of games there now," said Ferguson. "Ryan Giggs obviously, and I have Ji-Sung Park.

"There are maybe one or two other options. Darron Gibson is back in training and he has only played one game because of an early season injury. He has experience playing central midfield.

"So the options are not too bad. Young (Paul) Pogba is a possibility. He's a big strong lad, he is a big strong athlete and he's improving, developing well. "Since he came to the club, I have seen the progress he has made and he has had experience of the first team this year."

Ferguson meanwhile said United had felt compelled to go public with the details of Fletcher's illness after the midfielder was revealed to be suffering from the bowel condition ulcerative colitis.

The club had previously explained Fletcher's condition as a virus.

"That was the big decision," Ferguson said.

"It got to the point where we had to address it in a different way. We spoke about a virus to protect Darren but it got to the point people were delving. It was getting uncomfortable so we decided to make it public.

"The medical people made the right decision," added Ferguson. "They have regarded Darren's health as the more important issue. We, as a club, agree completely with that. He has not been in training, he was in hospital for a few days and has just got to rest now.

"Hopefully he will return, yes. It is always going to take a bit of time and the rest is the most important thing at the moment. The medical people made all the decisions and we are quite happy with that. But I couldn't put a time scale on it.

"He is disappointed but you have to deal with these things. He will deal with it because he is a strong character."

"He has been in hospital for a few days."

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