Not the headline most Manchester United fans would have liked to read, but Vice President Ed Woodward confirmed to investors today that the club is unlikely to splash the cash in the January transfer window.
With defenders in short supply and a frontline that has looked alarmingly off the pace, fans would have been expecting manager Louis Van Gaal to bring in fresh faces to shore up a squad in need up restrengthening.
However, Woodward, speaking to investors on Wednesday, said that the club was looking to do business in the summer of 2015, and that it is very unlikely that a big-money purchase could be made in January.
The club recently revealed figures showing income dropped by almost 10 per cent in the first quarter of their financial year due to the absence from the Champions League.
Revenue for the three months ending September 30 was £88.7m, down £9.8m on the £98.5m for the same period a year ago.
Even though Manchester United secured a record 750 million kit-deal from Adidas, the fact of the matter is that Champions League football, and the absence of it, is set to hurt United’s revenue in the long term. According to sources privy to the deal, United face a penalty of 25 million should they fail to make the Champions League at the end of the 2014-15 season.
United splashed the clash in the summer transfer window, bringing in the likes of Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind, Angel Di Maria, Marcos Rojo and Radamel Falcao to boost a squad that struggled to compete at the top level last season.
Asked about the team’s progress under manager Louis Van Gaal, Woodward was optimistic about the team’s chances and the future: “There’s a real feeling that we as a club are at the start of something special.”
But Woodward was coy on the prospects of Manchester United dipping in to the January transfer window, preferring to insist the possibility of no new signings in January.
“We are not looking to enter the market for short-term fixes. However, we have targets we are looking at for next summer and should any of those become available in January we would consider acting but that is a low probability,” said Woodward.
Perhaps that puts to the bed the recent rumours related to the club being prepared to bid big for superstars of the ilk of Arturo Vidal, Marco Reus and Xherdan Shaqiri.