While Ferguson is likely to be raising funds in the January transferwindow by listening to offers for Portuguese winger Nani and £4millionEngland goalkeeper Ben Foster, he knows that Manchester City couldeasily splash out on Barcelona star Lionel Messi without troublingtheir bank manager.
Out of Fergie's reach: But rivals Manchester City can afford Messi
With United £700m in debt, Sir Alex is even looking for some bargains in the transfer market with West Ham midfielder Valon Behrami and Sao Paulo defender Joao Miranda on his radar.
Their situation contrasts sharply with City, who are taking the Carling Cup very seriously as they chase their first trophy since 1976.
Ferguson said: 'Given the amount of money they've got, anything is possible. I read somewhere they were going to bid for Messi. They could offer a billion for Messi and it wouldn't affect them too much. I'm pretty happy and proud of our history. We can handle anything.'
City manager Roberto Mancini is adamant after his excellent start to life in England that he wants to stay beyond the initial six-month period offered by the club.
Mancini can sign a three-year deal in the summer if both sides are happy and the Italian said: 'I hope that my future will be here for a lot of years because I think in a few years City will be a big club in Europe and that we can win many trophies.
'If this season we win a trophy and we go into the Champions League, I think in one year it will change the situation for us.'
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