Sir Alex Ferguson could splash the cash next month as he attempts to stiffen Manchester United's bid for a fourth successive Barclays Premier League title.
That is the view of sports finance expert Simon Chadwick, who believes the time could be right for Ferguson to re-invest some of the proceeds of Cristiano Ronaldo's £80million summer sale to Real Madrid after keeping his powder dry in the immediate aftermath of the Portugal international's departure.
United are neck and neck with Chelsea in the battle for top spot as the race rounded the corner over Christmas with Arsenal hot on their heels, and Chadwick, professor of sport business at Coventry University, has tipped them to be one of the few significant spenders when the winter transfer window opens.
"What is particularly interesting with Manchester United is Ferguson did not go on a spending spree with the Ronaldo cash," he told Press Association Sport.
"In the summer, Ferguson played a canny game. He sold a player he had bought for £12.24million for £80million, so clearly in terms of the liquidity he realised, he conceivably does have money to spend.
"But what a deal like that does is inject inflation into the transfer market, so Ferguson withdrew from the market and made statements that he didn't need to buy and tried to dampen down the market.
"It is difficult to do that during a window, but six months on from the Ronaldo sale and four months since the market shut, it may be sufficiently dampened now for Ferguson to come back in, so United are worth keeping an eye on.
"They probably do have some money to spend and Ferguson possibly does perceive that the market is much calmer than it was when they sold Ronaldo.
"They are behind in the race for the Premier League title and they need to make sure they push on in the Champions League, so that might prompt Ferguson to dip in."
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