Fergie rejects new spending

Burnley have issued a hands-off warning to any clubs planning a
January move for star striker Charlie Austin.

Former Swindon forward Austin is the country’s leading scorer
and has re-written the Clarets’ record books with a march to 22
goals already this term, sparking reported interest from a host of
Barclays Premier League clubs.

But co-chairman Mike Garlick insists the club have no plans to
sell their prized asset, while chief executive Lee Hoos pointed to
their refusal to sanction a winter move for Jay Rodriguez 12 months
ago before Austin’s former strike partner made his summer switch to
Southampton.

“We have no plans to sell Charlie at the minute,” said Garlick
when addressing Burnley’s AGM on Monday night. “We see him as an
integral part of our squad.

“Last season he had time out with injury, in the first season we
bought him he was injured – we want him to play for us this
season.”

Hoos added: “We were in the same situation last year with Jay.
We said ‘no’.

“We have no plans to sell Charlie, we will not encourage offers
on Charlie. We want to let him enjoy his football and continue to
score the goals and see where that takes us to the end of the
season.”

With all teams in the Premier League chasing the tails of
leaders United, as well as battling the drop, there is likely to be
plenty of money exchanging hands next month.

Ferguson has generally been reluctant to conduct any winter
business, although Patrice Evra and Nemanja Vidic arrived in 2006
and keeper Anders Lindegaard the only high-profile Christmas
signing (2011) since then.

When asked if there were areas of his squad he wanted to
strengthen, Ferguson told Eurosport-Yahoo!: “No. The January
transfer market has never been the best market and that has proved
itself over the years.

“You get very few big transfers – all the big transfers are done
in the summer.”

One acquisition during the summer that continues to delight
Ferguson is striker Robin van Persie.

A haul of 15 goals in 21 games in all competitions since his
?24m move from Arsenal has helped his side open up a six-point gap
at the Premier league summit.

With Eric Cantona’s arrival from Leeds in 1992 inspiring the
team to four league titles, Ferguson feels Van Persie can act as a
similar catalyst to success.

“I think it is happening. The attacking aspect of our game has
definitely improved,” Ferguson added.

“He has a similar profile to Eric. There is a maturity about
him. He had a great spell at Arsenal so there was no issue with him
going from one big club to another. He’s an established
international and his profile suited us perfectly.”

Although striker Wayne Rooney and Van Persie have started most
of the games this season, Ferguson was in no doubt that having
fellow-forwards Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez in the squad was
vital.

“Having four is a definite advantage,” said Ferguson, whose team
won the treble in 1999 with an attacking quartet of Dwight Yorke,
Teddy Sheringham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Andy Cole.

“It is difficult to manage but they didn’t complain too much
back then as long as they got their share of playing and they all
made their contribution.

“Hopefully this will apply with the players again. But they will
all contribute this season – there is no question about that.”