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Man Utd legend Ferdinand defends Ashley over lack of Newcastle transfer spending

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has defended Newcastle United owner Mike Ashley over the club's lack of signings.

The BT Sports pundit – who courted controversy by defending the owner last year – gave his verdict on Rafa Benitez's frustrations and Ashley's approach.

Speaking on the matter, Ferdinand said: “I understand Rafa's frustrations because as a manager you want the ability to go out and spend money, but they're not in that position.

“At the same time I understand Mike Ashley. Why is he going to spend more and more money - millions and millions of pounds - when he's actually looking to sell the club? He's got them to a point now where they're back in the Premier League and they're consolidating to a certain extent.

“He's not going to go spend his own money. You wouldn't go spend your own money now knowing you were trying to sell something unless you knew you were going to get that back.

“It's not easy to sell a football club. He's got a price and he's going to wait to get it. He's spent money at that football club, he's just not going to spend it at this time.

“All these fans, they do dream, and they dream big and I understand that. What are Newcastle's aims? They can't be aiming at being a Man Utd or a Man City. They've got to aim to be a Bournemouth. They've only just started spending. I'm not saying everything they're doing is correct. What I'm saying is, I think Mike Ashley, you can't hammer him and say that he should be spending when he wants to sell the club. You wouldn't spend on your house when you want to sell it."

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Paul Vegas

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