LONDON, United Kingdom, Apr 26 – Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is unlikely to have the freedom to chase his transfer targets due to the financial implications of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has played down expectations that United will spend big this summer, telling fans: “Nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of challenge facing everyone in football and it may not be ‘business as usual’ for any clubs, including ourselves, in the transfer market this summer.
“As ever, our priority is the success of team, but we need visibility of the impact across the whole industry, including timings of the transfer window, and the wider financial picture, before we can talk about a return to normality.
“On this basis, I cannot help feeling that speculation around transfers of individual players for hundreds of millions of pounds this summer seems to ignore the realities that face the sport.”
Before the crisis, Daily Star Sport reported that the Red Devils were confident of luring the £100m-rated Jadon Sancho to Old Trafford and they were also keen on Harry Kane, who Tottenham had slapped a £250m asking price on.
A report from the Evening Standard claims that the duo were part of Solskjaer’s nine-man transfer shortlist, although Woodward’s comments appear to suggest that United were not be involved in numerous deals this summer.
Jack Grealish, James Maddison, Donny van de Beek, Moussa Dembele, Erling Haaland, Timo Werner and Raul Jimenez were the other names mentioned, with the Red Devils known to be looking at strengthening a number of areas of their team.
Speaking earlier this month, Solskjaer spoke about United’s future transfer plans, telling Sky Sports: “Football is going to get back to normality at one point, and it’s very important we’re ready when that happens.
“Then, the market, who knows how the market is going to react to this? Who knows which clubs need to sell players?
“There might be just a situation there where you can exploit, and I know that we at Man United we are one of the biggest, and the biggest, financially well-off.”
However, Woodward’s comments now appear to have scuppered that notion and it remains to be seen how much United will spend and how many players they will sign come the end of the season.