Ed Woodward has revealed that Manchester United, desperate for a top-four finish this season, are unlikely to add to their squad in January.
Having had to come to terms with the retirement of the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson last season, David Moyes was dismissed in April as the Reds headed for their lowest finish since the inception of the Premier League. Louis van Gaal was appointed as the Scot’s successor during the summer, and the Dutch coach spent in access of £150million ahead of the current campaign.
But despite the arrivals of Radamel Falcao, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and club record signing Angel di Maria, United have struggled to find their rhythm in the opening stages of this season. The general consensus is that van Gaal needs to address his defensive frailties if his side are to finish in the top-four and return to the UEFA Champions League.
Indeed, a number of centre-halves have been linked with a move to Old Trafford, including Borussia Dortmund captain Mats Hummels and former Reds star Gerard Pique, now of Barcelona. But after announcing reduced revenue for the first three months of the financial year, chief executive Woodward has revealed that it is unlikely such players will be signed in January.
“We are not looking to enter the market for short-term fixes,” Woodward replied when he was asked whether United intended to strengthen their squad, and in particular in defence, in January. “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 we all need to recognise that is a low probability.”
Meanwhile, David de Gea has played down speculation linking him with a move to Real Madrid. The former Atletico youngster is now in his fourth season at Old Trafford, and after a shaky start, he has established himself as one of the best goalkeepers in Europe. Los Blancos would love to return him to the Spanish capital, but the 24-year-old is settled in the North West of England.
“It is difficult to say whether a bid will be made by Real, because of all the rumours that appear in the press,” the Spanish international told La Sexta. “In Manchester I feel wanted. If you took seriously what is written about you, you’d almost think you’re going to a thousand clubs. So the best you can do is pay attention to where you are. I feel very loved by Man United.”