Papers: Spend, spend, spend
£100million to burn
Sir Alex Ferguson has been handed a £100million transfer fund by Manchester United after he personally gave the order for Cristiano Ronaldo to be sold to Real Madrid. And United last night prepared to enter a bidding war with Chelsea for France international Franck Ribery which could go as high as £65m. Old Trafford boss Ferguson is also known to have Lyon’s £25m forward Karim Benzema on his hit list and he hopes to conclude the £16m signing of Wigan’s Antonio Valencia in the near future. Far from being reluctant to allow Ronaldo to leave, Ferguson actively encouraged the deal once he was made aware of the massive £80million fee. It is also understood that the entire proceeds of the deal will be made available along with Ferguson's annual £20m transfer budget. Wigan’s Ecuador winger Valencia has long been a Ferguson target and he will almost certainly join shortly while the United manager has not yet given up on persuading Carlos Tevez to stay on a long-term deal. As well as Benzema, Ferguson’s hit-list includes Barcelona holding player Yaya Toure. It is, however, the prospect of United going head to head with Chelsea for Bayern Munich’s Ribery that looks the most mouthwatering. Bayern have already indicated the 26-year-old is not for sale and it will take an offer of around £65m for the Frenchman to be prised away.Ian Ladyman, Daily Mail
United have been linked with a host of top talents since Ronaldo's potential departure was announced. The Guardian says Barcelona's Samuel Eto'o could arrive, while wingers David Silva (The Times) and Arjen Robben (Daily Star) are also being monitored.
Sir Alex is also keen to prevent any more players leaving Old Trafford, according to The Times, who say Barcelona are set to move for Nemanja Vidic and Manchester City lead the chase for Carlos Tevez.