Shaw, 19, eventually moved to Old Trafford this summer for £30 million during a busy transfer window which saw United spend more than £150m on new players.
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“The signing of Shaw was the one we were trying to get at 16 years of age,” he said.
“They wouldn't sell him to us but said we would be the first to know if they ever did, and Ed Woodward has followed that through.
“We got him for I think it was £30m. [He's a] talented boy, good footballer, likes to get forward all the time.
“[Herrera] played against us three years ago for Bilbao in the Europa League.
“They gave us a right battering. We scouted him quite a lot at the time, obviously they tried to get him last year but it collapsed for whatever reason.”
Ferguson also admits United’s summer spending spree was needed, and says he has been impressed with the calibre of players Louis van Gaal has brought to the club.
“The way the game is going today - it was £85m for Gareth Bale last year - and I think when you can identify ability like that needed for Manchester United... they have the resources to do that, there's fees that I never quite equalled but nonetheless they needed a big injection this year,” he added.
“The big one Falcao is the one we're all waiting to see. He's obviously got fantastic goalscoring ability, he's had his injury and I think getting him on loan was the right thing to do.
“[Marcos] Rojo, I watched him at the World Cup, I think he did really well for them. He can play at left-back, as a wing-back or in the centre of defence.
“Daley Blind is one of these common sense footballers that make up a team, he's probably a version of Darren Fletcher of a few years ago, that type of player.
“A good professional, common sense to his game, keeps it simple, and protects the defenders or the attacking midfield players.”