Ferguson rules out United move for Campbell

MANCHESTER: Sir Alex Ferguson has dismissed suggestions he will move for Sol Campbell in the transfer window and insists Manchester United are not interested in the former England defender.

Campbell has been linked with a free transfer to Old Trafford next month to ease the Premier League champions' current defensive crisis.

United have just one recognised centre back fit for the visit of Aston Villa on Saturday as they look to secure the win that could see them overhaul Chelsea at the top of the table.

Campbell is available to join another club again after resolving his registration dispute with Notts County, the League Two club he walked out on after making just one appearance earlier this season.

But despite being without a host of defenders, including Jonny Evans,Gary Neville, John O'Shea and Rio Ferdinand, Ferguson insists Campbell is not someone he wants to sign.

Although he claims to have money to spend, Ferguson has no intention of bringing any new players to Old Trafford next month.

Ferguson, who welcomes back Nemanja Vidic for the Villa game after using midfielders Michael Carrick andDarren Fletcher as centre-backs against Wolfsburg in midweek, said: "I don't know where that has come from, but it's all wrong.

"Sol has had a great career, but he's not the sort of player we are thinking about bringing to Manchester United. That deal is of no interest to us. One paper says it's because we don't have the money and want to take him on the cheap, which is nonsense.

"The money is there if I want to use it. I don't think there is any value. That's why I didn't buy anyone and I'm happy with what I've got.

"I know we are having a hard time at the moment with defensive injuries but I'm sure by January we will be okay because those injured players will be back."

While United defeated Wolfsburg without Vidic and company, Ferguson is delighted to have Vidic back to face Villa's muscular forwards.

"Vidic is back and that's good news. Given the way our opponents are prolific crosses of the ball, it's good to have him back," he said.

"We're encouraged by the fact players like (Michael) Carrick and (Darren) Fletcher can adapt themselves to play in different positions, so it gives us some encouragement that we can cope with the problem at the moment.

"Aston Villa are good opponents. The thing that always amazes me about Martin (O'Neill) is that he keeps playing the same team all the time and its easy to pick their team, actually.

"But his consistency of picking the team all the time is that it gets them results, so it will be a difficult game.

"Villa have two big lads up front in Heskey and Carew, but Vidic is the one player who can cope with all that. We're delighted that he's back."

Ferguson believes Michael Owen's stunning hat-trick against Wolfsburg will significantly boost his chances of making Fabio Capello's England squad for the World Cup.

It remains to be seen if Ferguson keeps faith with Owen against Villa, but he added: "I don't think it changes Michael, because he's always been about goals, whether it is one goal or two goals or whatever. That's what his life is.

"What I thought was that his third goal was vintage Owen. It was fantastic. The cleverness to cut across the defender and force them to either bring him down, get a red card or let him score. He couldn't afford to tackle him.

"Cutting across him was clever. He waited for the goalkeeper to go down and then chipped him. Vintage.

"Fabio (Capello) said that himself that it's performances that matter. If Michael is going to get to the World Cup it will be through his performances.

"I think Wednesday helps him in the respect of the view that he will not have played enough games, but he will play sufficient enough games for him to be considered.That's the best chance he's got and that's all he can hope for."