Sir Alex Ferguson welcomed Henrik Larsson to Manchester United's training ground yesterday, hoping that the former Sweden forward can cure his team of the profligacy that cost them at Upton Park on Sunday, but the Scot believes that his players must also emulate something of Chelsea's fighting spirit if they are to wrestle back the Barclays Premiership title.
Ferguson hopes that Larsson will give United more knowhow, as well as a cool head in front of goal, but the former Celtic and Barcelona forward will have little time to make an impact for United, with his spell on loan from Helsingborgs scheduled to run only from January 2 until March 12.
United's main target during the January transfer window is Owen Hargreaves, the Bayern Munich and England midfield player. Hargreaves's hopes of a move to Old Trafford appeared to be raised slightly by Bayern yesterday, with Uli Hoeness, the general manager, saying that the German club might sell if they can find a suitable replacement, but Hoeness added that "nothing is going to happen in the winter break".
Helsinborgs manager Stuart Baxter:
"We only finished our season 10 days ago so Henrik is still in good shape.
"If he works reasonably hard over Christmas - which I presume he will do - and gets in some good work with United that will bring him back up to speed.
"Of course Henrik has got to adjust to the pace of the game, the same as everyone else.
"But for the job United want him to do, his fitness will not be a problem."
Baxter was present at the West Ham game and said:
"If Henrik had been available, I am sure it would have been an interesting one for Sir Alex to tinker with. He would have given him another option.
"I know he is looking forward to the challenge and of course I will be monitoring his progress."
"I feel quite humbled that such a huge club and great manager are interested in what I can do, " said Larsson on his website.
"I am really excited at the prospect of playing for United."
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