'Fergie was lining up one of the world's best for United over the summer'

Former Old Trafford number two Mike Phelan has stated that Sir Alex Ferguson would have signed a top-class player in the summer had he still been manager.

Much of the early season frustration of Manchester United fans stems around the inability to bring in top-class transfer targets over the summer.

The Premier League champions were beaten to the punch for the likes of Thiago Alcantara, rejected by Cesc Fabregas and had approaches for Daniele De Rossi and Sami Khedira turned down.

However, with David Moyes feeling the pressure of expectation, former United assistant manager Mike Phelan’s most-recent comments will not help the current Old Trafford boss.

Phelan has claimed that had Sir Alex Ferguson still been in the United hotseat, a world-class player would have moved to Manchester over the off-season.

“If Sir Alex and David Gill had still been the bosses... I won’t name the player, but there would have been a star signing - one of the absolute best players in the world,” Phelan admitted.

“It was something the boss talked about, and the owners and David Gill were also quite clear on doing it.

"There’s very few of such players out there. I think it’s clear to everybody who I’m talking about.

“We didn’t see the need for a big clear-out of the squad, that’s why Sir Alex and I had one big signing in sight.

"One such star signing gives everybody a lift, we saw that with Robin van Persie.”

Phelan’s comments will spark United fans to try and second guess who the player in question is, but the line ‘I think it’s clear to everybody who I’m talking about’ would suggest that it is Cristiano Ronaldo.

The former Red Devils hero was stalling on signing a new contract at Real Madrid during the time of Ferguson’s retirement announcement, but has since extended his stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Whether there is much credence in Phelan’s statement or not remains to be seen, but it can only be a negative thing for Moyes.

Not only has the team started poorly this season, with solitary summer signing Marouane Fellaini not endearing himself to the Old Trafford faithful, but now Moyes is being blamed for United not resigning Cristiano Ronaldo?

Managing the Premier League champions is clearly not an easy task.

image: © marcel sigg

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch