Date: 24th July 2006 at 6:56pm
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Sir Alex Ferguson is still looking to fill the void left in the wake of the Roy Keane departure from Old Trafford.

Ferguson has looked for long term replacements for former skipper Keane,with little success. Who can forget Djemba-Djemba? Oh you already have. It was even thought that Alan Smith could be moulded into the role but Ferguson has now admitted Smith will return to the striking position when he has fully recovered from his leg break.

Sir Alex said, in an interview with News of the World:

‘The main issue for me is the composition of the midfield. We are not looking outside of that. When you lose a player like Roy Keane, which was always going to happen as he was getting older, you have to find a replacement for him.’

‘It is something I have been looking at for a long time. We have Paul Scholes back to his best form. We also have the quality and experience of Ryan Giggs so it can’t be that bad. We have youthfulness in John O’Shea ? who did a great job for us last year in that position ? and Darren Fletcher, so we have some alternatives in there.’

Ferguson knows the fans are expectant but says they are looking for ‘a new face’.

‘Fans want to see new signings and a new face which makes a difference to our play and bring more success. We are trying to sign a couple of players who would add variety to our play. They are different types of players to the ones we have and that would only strengthen us. But, at the end of the day, we will not be stupid. I am quite adamant about that.’

He has also suggested that Spurs and England midfielder will no longer be a target because Manchester United and Spurs valuations differ so greatly,

Saying: ‘World Cup year is always difficult but we tried to do some fundamental business before the tournament, making a bid for Carrick. Tottenham turned down that offer and are looking at something approaching double what we offered. They want to play the long game. We have put a value on him and we will not go above that.’