Alex Ferguson has stirred the pot of Mancunian rivalry following Manchester City’s title win on Sunday by claiming he is ready for the Blues to “pay stupid money and silly salaries” this summer.
Ferguson was frustrated 12 months ago when he thought he had agreed a deal to sign Samir Nasri from Arsenal, only for the France midfielder to join City instead.
Nasri was the latest in a long line of star names to join the Blues revolution, and more followed, including Sergio Aguero, whose injury-time goal at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday ensured the Premier League trophy was transferred from Old Trafford to the other side of town, just as it did when City last won it in 1968.
City’s parade was taking place a couple of miles away from Old Trafford, just as United were beginning their Player of the Year awards dinner.
And it was from there that Ferguson launched his stinging barb as he assessed his own plans for the summer and insisted there would be no deviation from his stated policy of buying younger players.
“We know City are going to spend fortunes, pay stupid money and silly salaries. We know that happens. We can’t do anything about that,” the Scot, who later took to the stage to confirm Antonio Valencia had won the Players’ Player of the Year award, said. “We are not like other clubs who can spend fortunes on proven goods. We invest in players who will be with the club for a long time, who will create the character of the club and the excitement for our fans.
“We are good at that and we aregoing to continue that way.”
Ferguson confirmed he already had some targets in mind, which are believed to include Borussia Dortmund duo Shinji Kagawa and Robert Lewandowski.
However, he insisted there was no requirement for a rebuilding job, as so many have suggested.
“We have set out our stall for certain players and we want to make sure the evolution continues at United,” said Ferguson.
“I have been at the club for 25 years and I have to maintain a certain standard that keeps us there all the time.
“We don’t always win it but we are always there, which is great credit to how we view things.
“But there is nothing materially wrong with us. I know there are some critics but we got 89 points.”
Earlier chief executive David Gill had insisted cash was available for Ferguson to invest in his squad.
“Funds are available without a doubt,” he said.
“We can still pay very well in terms of wages and transfer fees.
“Clearly City have raised the bar again. We have seen that with what they are prepared to pay for players and to them.
“But we are a very successful club. Our turnover is amongst the top three in world football — over £300million a year.
“That generates income to invest in players and we will continue to do that.”
Ferguson admitted his side suffered at the Stadium of Light on Sunday, initially believing they had won the title with their victory, only to have the glory taken off them.
However, the celebrations of the Sunderland fans clearly left a bitter taste.
“I am a winner,” said Ferguson.
“When we lost the league to Leeds in 1992, the young players — Neville, Scholes, Giggs — came out that day and the Liverpool supporters were asking for their autographs. Then they (the supporters) were tearing the autographs up — I told the players to remember that.
“Yesterday I said to those Sunderland fans who were cheering for City: ‘Remember the day. We won’t forget that. I am telling you’.”
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