Ferguson targets three signings as Manchester United prepare to replace the old guard

19 May 2011 07:41
ShareChief executive David Gill has told Manchester United fans to prepare for a 'busier than normal' summer in the transfer market.

With Edwin van der Sar due to follow Gary Neville into retirement, Paul Scholes yet to confirm whether he will extend his career by a further season and major doubts hanging over senior figures such as Michael Owen, Wes Brown and Owen Hargreaves, changes are inevitable at the Premier League champions.

Coupled up: Ryan Giggs brought his wife Stacey (left), while fellow midfielder Darron Gibson arrived with his girlfriend Danielle Carter

It does appear youngsters Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverley will be given their chance after impressing during loan spells with Sunderland and Wigan respectively. However, Gill has given the clearest indication yet that United supporters can expect at least one big-name arrival, andthe likelihood is there will be more.

'It probably will be slightly busier than normal,' Gill told MUTV during the annual Manchester United players' awards ceremony at Old Trafford.

'Gary has retired already. Edwin is retiring and Paul has to decide what he wants to do. 'We have been working very hard over the course of the last 12 months to plan which positions we need to fill, identifying those players and trying to work on it.

'What Alex Ferguson has done very successfully for nearly 25 years is to reinvent the team slowly and integrate them within the establishedstars. That is what we will continue to do.

'It gives a buzz to everyone at the club when you bring in high quality players. It is something we look forward to with relish.'

Honoured: Javier Hern?ndez Balc?zar (right) won the player of the year and posed up on the red carpet with teammate Antonio Valencia

United have been heavily linked with Atletico Madrid's 20-year-old goalkeeper David De Gea, although it would go against Ferguson's preference for a goalkeeper with great experience. 

Aston Villa's Ashley Young has long been viewed as a potential United target, although more latterly Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder has come into the reckoning.

The Dutch World Cup finalists would be an obvious replacement for Scholes, whom Gill admitted last weekend might opt to call time on his stellar career after the Champions League final with Barcelona at Wembley on May 28.

Gill's observations were echoed by Ferguson, who claimed he was chasing three signings to bolster a squad that has reached the ChampionsLeague final for the third time in four years.

'We have some ideas in mind,' said the United boss. 'Hopefully we can get them put in place.

'We have Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes coming towards the end of theircareers, Gary Neville has already retired and Edwin van der Sar is retiring, so there are holes we want to plug up in terms of the safety and security of the team for the next few years.

'Of course, we have some excellent young players and a lot of them have progressed, which gives us a great, powerful squad.

Suited and booted: French winger Gabriel Obertan (left) and singer Mick Hucknall - who presented the main award - looked dapper in their suits

'I am looking at maybe three signings which would boost our overall quality in our team.'

As he went up to present the main players' player of the year award to Nani, Ferguson could not resist a dig at Liverpool, whom he knocked off their perch by clinching United's 19th league title at Blackburn on Saturday.

Twenty-four hours later, some intrepid fans managed to get a banner into Anfield proclaiming "MUFC 19 times" which they hung from the Anfield Road End of the ground before making a very quick getaway.

'I wish I had taken that banner to Liverpool on Sunday,' Ferguson said.

'I bet there were 76,000 fans wishing they had thought of that.'

In addition to Nani, Javier Hernandez was crowned fans' player of the year, with Wayne Rooney the overwhelming choice for goal of the season, his magnificent overhead kick against Manchester City at Old Trafford in February.

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 Explore more:People: Paul Scholes, Alex Ferguson, Ryan Giggs, Ashley Young, Gabriel Obertan, Edwin Van Der Sar, David Gill, Michael Owen, Danny Welbeck, Wayne Rooney, Wes Brown, Gary Neville, Mick Hucknall, Nani, Owen Hargreaves Places: Barcelona, Liverpool

Source: Daily_Mail