Manchester United chief Woodward all but rules out January signings

The Red Devils’ executive vice chairman says they could act if one of their summer targets becomes available this winter but warns there is a “low probability” of that

Manchester United will not be pushed into big spending in January by an underwhelming start to Louis van Gaal’s tenure, executive vice chairman Ed Woodward insists.

United have won just four of their first 11 Premier League matches under Van Gaal and announced a 9.9 per cent drop in revenue for the first quarter of the financial year on Tuesday as a result of failing to qualify for the Champions League last term.

The Red Devils splashed out around €187 million (£150m) on squad reinforcements over the summer, but an injury crisis has exacerbated a lack of experience in defence following the departures of veterans Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Patrice Evra.

Yet in spite of this, Woodward is adamant United will only enter the transfer market if one of their long-term targets becomes available, though he concedes there is a “low probability” of that happening.

“We’re not looking to enter the market for short-term fixes,” Woodward said in response to an investor’s question in a conference call to discuss United’s latest financial results. 

“However, we have targets that we are looking at for next summer and should any of those become available in January, which is rare, we will consider acting.

“But it terms of expectations we all need to recognise [that] that’s a low probability.”

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