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Sunday, April 18, 1999 Published at 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK

Sport: Football

Fergie offered lucrative new deal

Alex Ferguson will be offered a lucrative new contract in the summer

Manchester United supremo Martin Edwards will offer Alex Ferguson English football's most lucrative managerial contract ever following another successful season both domestically and in Europe.

The United board will offer Ferguson the deal of the century in the close season in an attempt to persuade the decade's most succesful manager to extend his 12-year stay with the club.

The Red Devils remain on course for an unprecedented treble of Premiership, FA Cup and the priceless European Cup and Edwards is desperate that United retain the services of the Scotsman.

Highest paid manager

Edwards said: "If and when Alex signs a new contract this summer he will be the highest paid manager in the Premiership.

"When he signed his contract three years ago we said we would review it before it ended and have always tried to renegotiate contracts when they have a year to run.

[ image: Alex Ferguson may find his transfer kitty reduced after the Sky deal fell through]
Alex Ferguson may find his transfer kitty reduced after the Sky deal fell through
"We always made it clear to Alex we would discuss it at the end of the season.

"It is also fair to say people don't know what Alex is paid. I see figures quoted in the newspapers and I have yet to see an accurate one.

"In fact he is on considerably more than any figure I have read, but there will be a limit and Alex will sign it or he won't."

Budget cut

Edwards added: "I can assure everyone that it he doesn't it won't be through a lack of effort on our part if he doesn't."

However Ferguson may find his transfer budget is cut considerably after the decision not to allow BSkyB to take control of United.

The club have already confirmed that they will be investing £44m in raising the capacity at Old Trafford and building a new training ground.

And Edwards admitted he would have to keep a tight rein on the transfer kitty while work was being done.

Ferguson said: "He (Edwards) has not said anything to me about money and in fairness I haven't asked him."


"So it's something I can't answer until I have a chat with the chairman himself.

"But in the context of next season the demands of the Champions' League are going to be enormous.

"We're going to have to have a squad of players to cope with that.

"Young players like (Wes) Brown and (Jonathan) Greening could augment the squad, but you're definitely going to need a lot of players.

He added: "You hope to get through the stages of the league and that's 12 games immediately.

"With Premiership games that's 50 matches before you even talk about another Cup tie.

"So you can see how the resources get drained."

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