Sir Alex Ferguson can still count on the £80million received from the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo to spend on new players in the summer, according to Manchester United chief executive David Gill.
United's owners the Glazer family counted the income from Ronaldo's sale as contributing to their profits last year but Gill said the money was still there for Ferguson in the form of cash in the bank.
He told the Soccerex conference in Manchester: "We are looking at players all the time, the money from Ronaldo is sitting there in the bank account, we have been clear on that."
He added: "But Alex has been very clear he is not going out to chase and overpay for a player just because everyone else thinks we should. He's a Scot, he wants value for money.
"We have spent a lot of money on Chris Smalling [from Fulham] and that's the sort of player we want to bring in - a young player who we feel will develop as a player and hopefully give us service for many, many years to come.
"Alex is very comfortable with it. He would not be shy in saying he wasn't comfortable and we need to buy a player. We are a successful team and the way it's moved on since Cristiano left after six very successful years with us demonstrated why he's comfortable with what he's got."
Gill also told the Red Knights group of wealthy fans they are wasting their time trying to buy the club.
Gill insisted the Glazer family do not want to sell the club, said they are running it "in the right way", defended the owners' £709million total debt and questioned the practicality of the Red Knights' plans for a takeover.
He also branded merchant banker Keith Harris, a key member of the group who has called for a fan boycott of United matches, as a "publicity seeker" and was scathing about his track record in football takeovers.
Gill said: "The Glazers have given no indication to me that they want to sell and in that case they cannot buy the asset, it's not for sale. The Glazers have no wish to sell and from our perspective they are running the club in the right way."