The Guardian reports:
Sir Alex Ferguson doubts whether he will sign any more players before Manchester United face their neighbours in the Community Shield at Wembley next month after admitting that the player he really wants is “not available”.
The United manager has signed three players this summer but an extensive search for a playmaker to replace Paul Scholes has so far proved to be a failure.
It is anticipated that if Luka Modric and Samir Nasri leave Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal respectively, they will head to clubs other than United and a deal to bring the Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder to Old Trafford from Internazionale has floundered due to the extreme costs involved.
Ferguson is therefore preparing with the squad he has now for a Community Shield match with a difference as it pitches United against their Manchester rivals, City, who won the FA Cup last season to end a 35-year trophy drought.
“It is not a normal Community Shield for Manchester United,” said Ferguson. “It is addressing our noisy neighbours again. It will be an interesting match.”
It is a phrase Ferguson first used following United’s dramatic derby triumph over City at Old Trafford in September 2009, when Michael Owen scored the winner in a 4-3 victory. City have since made even further inroads on United’s territory, with Ferguson admitting the prospect of further signings is slim. “We lost five players in their 30s this summer. That helped finance the three younger players – Ashley Young, Phil Jones and David de Gea – I have brought to the club.
“At this moment, I can’t see another addition. The type of player we might have been looking for is not available. I am happy with the players I have got at this moment in time.”
Whether this is another example of mind games from the old master remains to be seen, as it wouldn’t be the first time Sir Alex has pulled the wool over both the press and his rivals eyes. With the season rapidly approaching though, the chances of Sneijder or anyone else joining United seem doubtful at best.