Sir Alex Ferguson has once again defended his decision not to make major waves in the transfer market this summer - and insisted it had nothing to do with Manchester United's massive debt.
Despite receiving a world record £80million for the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid, Ferguson has restricted his outgoings to £17million on Antonio Valencia and another £3million to recruit Gabriel Obertan from Bordeaux.
In addition, Ferguson snapped up Michael Owen on a free transfer, while Senegalese wonder-kid Mame Biram Diouf has also been signed by the Old Trafford outfit with an eye on the future.
However, the vast majority of United's Ronaldo money remains unspent, much to the chagrin of many fans who feel the Red Devils will struggle badly without the Portuguese. Ferguson has heard the complaints, and the accusations that a debt approaching £700million is finally starting to bite. But he offers a more soothing response.
"Pay no attention to the cynics who have suggested our owners have stopped us spending," he told United Review. "Believe me, it was purely a football decision.
"Maybe it is the Scotsman in me but I believe in value, even when I am spending someone else's money, and the asking price for players we were looking at just wasn't realistic."