Sir Bobby hits dead end

Last updated : 09 January 2003 By Martyn Elliott

Staying in France
The French club’s decision follows on from Leeds United’s decision to rebuff a £9million offer for Jonathan Woodgate and Rangers manager Alex McLeish’s hands-off warning about Lorenzo Amoruso.

With chairman Freddy Shepherd having already decided that Lazio want too much money for a player of Jaap Stam’s age and Sir Bobby reportedly deciding that Forest’s Michael Dawson is not experienced enough to solve our current defensive problems, it's a case of back to square one.

One thing for certain is that Sir Bobby won’t buy a defender for the sake of being seen to do something about the team’s weaknesses and that Shepherd will not be ripped off.

The memories of Ruud Gullit’s expensive transfer fiascos are all too fresh in the minds of the directors at St James’ Park and they will do everything possible to avoid be saddled with another highly-paid dud.

But United will find it difficult to get the right player at the right price because most clubs perceive us to be cash-rich after having qualified for the second phase of the Champions League and desperate having conceded 50 goals already this season.

So whilst the board is doing the right thing in standing firm against excessive demands it leaves us fans frustrated by the lack of activity.

Sir Bobby though is keen to strengthen the defence and Shepherd has agreed to back him in the transfer market, but at the moment it’s back to the drawing board in terms of actually making a signing.