FERGIE - BARCA WON'T LET RIVALDO GO
By Adam Marshall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Manchester United are one of the clubs who have tried to test the water in the past with regards to a move for the magical Brazilian, while Lazio also appear to have conceded defeat in their blockbusting bid to sign him for a world record fee this summer.
"As for Rivaldo, there has never been an occasion when Barcelona have been prepared to sell," the Scot revealed on United's official website.
"I don't think there was ever a possibility of bringing Zinedine Zidane over here. I think his wife prefers to be in that part of the world."
Ferguson, responding to fans' e-mailed questions, claimed he was only chasing four top targets this summer, rather than the six he was quoted as wanting, and that he is content with Ruud van Nistelrooy and Juan Sebastian Veron's arrival.
"I don't think there were six," he stated. "We had a target of four, excluding van Nistelrooy.
"We looked at where we could get a player to improve us.
"Van Nistelrooy was one, Veron was another, and we got him.
"We'd have liked another top defender but we didn't get him. But we're happy with what we have."
Presumably, Bixente Lizarazu and Lilian Thuram were the two defensive targets who slipped through the net.
Looking back, Ferguson would have loved to bring Gabriel Batistuta to Old Trafford, to partner French talisman Eric Cantona.
"I'd have thought somebody like Batistuta would have been the perfect partner for Eric Cantona," he declared. "Someone who could run through, a powerful hitter of the ball.
"Batistuta would be good - quick and aggressive. Eric liked that kind of player, who he could thread passes through to."
And, as for the future, Ferguson identified some of the names who will be hitting the headlines after he has stepped down as manager of The Red Devils.
"We've got some terrific prospects at Old Trafford," he enthused. "Darren Fletcher, who we hope will get over his broken leg, is good.
"Michael Stewart and Luke Chadwick are doing very well, and John O'Shea's doing well too.
"There's a young left back called Paul Tierney who's doing well, as is Danny Pugh. But there's a young boy who has started now, he's 16, called Kieran Richardson.
"He's going to be a fantastic player."