sport

SAF wouldn't have signed Carroll

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has admitted he would never have paid 35million for striker Andy Carroll.

The much-maligned England forward heads to Manchester United with West Ham on Wednesday night fresh from scoring the first goal of his loan stint at Upton Park.

For a team who have made a habit of conceding the first goal this season, Carroll is an obvious threat.

Yet Carroll continues to struggle to live up to his billing as England's most expensive player thanks to that extraordinary move from Newcastle to Liverpool in January 2011.

"He has only played something like a dozen games for Newcastle and then he had to deal with a 35million transfer to a club like Liverpool. That's quite a big jump," Ferguson told Manchester United's official website.

"I'd certainly not sign that kind of player for that kind of money.

"We've gambled on young players in the past, maybe a couple of million or whatever, but when you get that level you really have to do a bit more homework and see how he is in his second season maybe.

"He's still not had a lot of games but he is a big lad, aggressive and a great header of the ball.

"He'll be a handful for our defenders."