Ferguson expects busy summer
There is no intention to go head-to-head with City or Chelsea on pure finance alone, but Ferguson is confident United can get the players he wants.
"We're competitive in the market - we're not Chelsea or Manchester City in terms of money but we're competitive," Ferguson told Inside United. "We've been doing a bit of work 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."
He added: "Hopefully the players we bring into the club in the next year or so will be of the quality we need."
It is promising to be an interesting close season, with Chelsea definitely in the market for a new manager and City potentially so if owner Sheikh Mansour believes Roberto Mancini has failed to deliver the improvement he is looking for.
Even if Mancini remains, it would seem more likely than not City will be looking to bolster their squad following a failure to keep pace with United. And Chelsea certainly will if, as Ferguson suspects, Jose Mourinho returns to Stamford Bridge - however, the Red Devils chief has already started his work.
England Under-21 wide-man Wilfried Zaha was signed from Crystal Palace in January, then immediately loaned back to the Championship outfit for the remainder of the campaign. Interest in strikers Robert Lewandowski and Radamel Falcao is long-standing, whilst it is also believed United will be in the hunt for a central midfielder and a left-back.
Ferguson has tried to bring in young overseas players, still in the very early stages of their development, to avoid having to spend vast sums.
Yet Gerard Pique, Guiseppe Rossi and Paul Pogba have all eventually left to fulfill their potential elsewhere, so it is to be hoped the latest recruit, Belgian Adnan Januzaj, who was given a squad number last week, is more in tune with Ferguson ideals.
"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," said Ferguson. "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."
Related Manchester United News