Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed that Manchester United have been working on strengthening their squad for the last few months, with the manager suggesting that Wayne Rooney has a long-term future at the club as he is approaching his peak.
The manager also hinted that established stars are being targeted as he is content the newly crowned champions have a solid foundation of young players.
Ferguson told Inside Review: “Hopefully the players we bring into the club in the next year or so will be of the quality we need. We’re competitive in the market – we’re not Chelsea or Manchester City in terms of money but we’re competitive.”
Ferguson’s ideal signing would be Borussia Dortmund’s Robert Lewandowski though the striker’s agent has claimed he will not be joining United this summer. “We’ve been doing a bit of work on that over the last three or four months, targeting who the players are that we feel could enhance us, make us better or help us maintain the level we’re at,” the Scot said.
“You have to look at the structure of the club at present, in terms of the number of first-team players we have at 23 or under. David de Gea, Rafael, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Alex Buttner, Nick Powell, Tom Cleverley and Danny Welbeck. Shinji Kagawa and Chicharito [Javier Hernández] are 24. Jonny Evans is 25 and Wayne Rooney is hitting his peak at 27.
“Older players like Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand may be coming towards the end of their careers, but these younger players are the foundation for the next five or six years, irrespective of the players breaking through, like Adnan Januzaj, the Belgian boy, who’s really looking very good.”
While Ferguson’s options to succeed Ferdinand at centre-back include Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones, the Scot is assessing who to sign to bolster midfield where Michael Carrick is the only established player centrally. United may also require a new goalkeeper if Anders Lindegaard, the deputy to De Gea, is allowed to leave.