Ed Woodward has boldly claimed Manchester United ‘is not afraid’ to break the transfer record on a single player so long as it is the player is who Louis van Gaal wants.
After years of underinvestment in comparison to rivals, United’s double signing of Ander Herrera and Luke Shaw was a real statement of intent in what was always going to be one of the busiest summers in the club’s history.
Now, in a move that will pile the pressure on both United and himself, Woodward has said United’s financial position is so strong that money isn’t an option when it comes to transfers.
“There is a philosophy in the club about wanting to see the best players playing for Manchester United,” Woodward said.
“But we are not imposing that on anybody. It was never imposed on Sir Alex or David and it is not going to be imposed on Louis.
“The reality is that we’re not afraid of spending significant amounts of money in the transfer market. Whether it’s a record or not doesn’t really resonate with us.
“What resonates is a top, top elite player that the manager wants that is going to be a star for Manchester United.
“The club is not afraid of [spending £60 million-£70 million] to do that. There is no budget, there is money. We are in a very strong financial position and we can make big signings.
“Seventh, as Louis said very eloquently, is not the biggest, but what the Adidas deal shows, and what we are seeing from a commercial perspective, also from talking to agents and players about wanting to come to us, is that we are the biggest club in the world. There is no question in my mind about that.”
Woodward would have personally been buoyed by the success of signing Herrera and Shaw but he has to make sure his comments are based on confidence rather than arrogance, as if United don’t follow through on these claims from Woodward, his head will be on the chop.
Unfortunately, Woodward’s comments sound remarkably similar to what we heard last year.
David Moyes, 14 July 2013: “There’s no budget here, you go get who you want to get, just go and do it”.
‘We are looking at the best players. I do think it’s important that we show people we are carrying on the traditions and trying to take the club forward.’
We all know what happened less than a year later to Moyes and as good as he has done so far with the signings of Shaw and Herrera, that hard work could quickly become unravelled if United don’t manage to land who else we want this summer.