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Sir Alex is a transfer master

Trevor Steven
<!--StartFragment--> MANCHESTER UNITED are undoubtedly losing one of their greatest players of all time in Cristiano Ronaldo, but manager Sir Alex Ferguson rarely gets his big transfer decisions wrong.<br /><br />Ferguson demands total commitment from his players and it is easy to understand if he has decided that this is the right time to sell Ronaldo.<br /><br />The Portuguese winger&rsquo;s frequent and very public flirtation with Real Madrid can only have damaged the team as a whole, and that is what Ferguson rightly prizes above all else. In many ways he had to go.<br /><br />Ferguson may well feel that &pound;80m is too good to turn down, when you remember that Kaka &ndash; still considered one of the best players in the world and only 27 years old &ndash; cost Real some &pound;24m less.<br /><br />The huge windfall will allow Ferguson to invest heavily in strengthening a team that was already strong enough to win three trophies last season and narrowly miss out on a second successive Champions League title.<br /><br />What will be interesting now is how much of the cash is made available to him for spending, and how Ferguson chooses to use it.<br /><br />A marquee signing to replace Ronaldo seems likely, with Bayern Munich&rsquo;s Franck Ribery the most obvious choice.<br /><br />Ferguson&rsquo;s record of replacing seemingly indispensable stars is impeccable &ndash; see Paul Ince and David Beckham &ndash; so I really cannot see United&rsquo;s fortunes suffering much in the long term. <!--EndFragment-->