Fergie considers striking options
By Pete Allison
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Sir Alex Ferguson has planned a new role for Alan Smith when he returns to fitness.
Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson has reviewed his current striker situation, and has revealed that he plans to play Alan Smith as a forward when the ex-Leeds man returns from injury.
Smith suffered from a horrific leg break in The Red Devils' FA Cup tie with Liverpool last season, but Ferguson is now planning the 25-year-old's role in his side for when he makes his recovery.
Smith, a striker in his time at Leeds, made a controversial £7 million switch across the Pennines in 2004 and originally started his Old Trafford career in attack.
The England international was pressed into a midfield role to try to compensate for the loss of Roy Keane, but he could now revert to a striker again.
"We are going to convert Alan Smith back into being a forward," said the Scotsman.
"He will be back in training soon and should be available by the end of August or the beginning of September."
The tenacious Yorkshireman has already demonstrated his skills in front of goal for United, having scored four times in his first five appearances for the club.
Ferguson had been expected to make a move for a new striker in the current transfer window, but is now seemingly looking to juggle his current options, rather than splash out on a new signing.
"We have Louis Saha and Wayne Rooney and we are considering keeping Giuseppe Rossi with us, even though I would prefer him to go out on loan for six months," he continued.
Despite Ferguson's striking situation being aided by the return to fitness of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, his side have been linked with a number of big names this summer, including Tottenham's Jermain Defoe, Atletico Madrid's Fernando Torres and David Trezeguet of Italian side Juventus.
His side are likely to be without Ruud van Nistelrooy next season, who is the subject of a rejected bid from Spanish giants Real Madrid, and his imminent departure has prompted many a link with some of Europe's biggest names.