Sir Alex Ferguson has sun the praises of our owners after they spent a fraction of last summer’s £80m transfer fee for Cristiano Ronaldo on young players.

“They have been great owners,” said Ferguson. “They have supported me in every way I have asked them. Any time we have wanted a player, they have provided the money. What people forget is that we have spent £20 million on young players this season, including Chris Smalling, Mame Biram Diouf and Javier Hernandez. We have always seen our future as based on young players developing at the club. But because we are signing young players, not big showpiece signings, they think we are not moving. People do not recognise how we see our future.”