Manchester United's spending is 'amazing', says Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson says he is glad he is not in charge of Manchester United's finances after the club splashed out 153 million pounds in the summer transfer window.
New manager Louis van Gaal, backed by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, brokered big-money deals for Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind, Angel Di Maria and, on deadline day, a loan move for Radamel Falcao.
The 59.7 million-pound signing of Di Maria from Real Madrid was a British transfer record, something Ferguson broke himself in 2001 when he spent 28 million pounds on Juan Sebastian Veron. But the Scot made it quite clear he is happy those days are behind him.
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"Certainly it's amazing, the amount of money spent nowadays," said Ferguson, talking at the annual UEFA coaches seminar in Nyon.
"My personal opinion is that it's never going to change, the world is progressing, and transfer fees with it, and I don't know if there will be an end to it. Fortunately, I'm not at the hub of it nowadays."
Following United's transfer haul and the release of several players who had come through the Old Trafford ranks, such as Danny Welbeck who completed a 16 million-pound switch to Arsenal and Tom Cleverley who moved on loan to Aston Villa, Ferguson's former long-term assistant Mike Phelan suggested the club's identity was "broken".
But United remain adamant that Van Gaal, who has a record for giving youth a chance in the past, including the likes of Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, Xavi, Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller, will continue to promote from within.
The Dutch manager has seen enough from James Wilson -- a two-goal star in Ryan Giggs' final game in charge as interim manager last year -- to push him up to fourth-choice striker, allowing Welbeck and Real Madrid-bound Javier Hernandez to leave.
Along with Wilson, defenders Tyler Blackett, Michael Keane and Reece James have been promoted to the first team, as well as midfielder Jesse Lingard. Of United's 35-strong squad, 21 are younger than 25 years old, while 14 are English.