Manchester United have the financial power to compete for the best players in the world despite their £360million debt, the club's vice-chairman has insisted.

Ed Woodward said Sir Alex Ferguson has been supported in every player he has wanted to buy and cited the signing of Robin van Persie as an example. Woodward also said United's owners will not sell the club for "many, many years" despite ongoing interest and that the club's debt, partially reduced due to the IPO share sell-off in August, was easily handled by United's income.

He said: "Every single player Sir Alex Ferguson has wanted to buy he has been supported. Some have slipped through our fingers but we have never said that we cannot afford a player."

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