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19th Sep 2020

Ed Woodward explains Manchester United’s lack of transfer activity

Ed Woodward has publicly addressed Manchester United's lack of transfer activity, mostly blaming the coronavirus pandemic

Reuben Pinder

Ed Woodward

“We are not immune to the impact.”

Manchester United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward has spoken publicly regarding the club’s lack of summer transfer activity.

They begin the season with just one addition, Donny van de Beek, a creative midfielder who signed from Ajax for €35 million. However, the club have failed in their very public pursuit of Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho and have not brought in any defenders.

Speaking to United Review, the club’s official programme, Woodward cited the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic as the main reason behind United’s lack of activity this summer.

“Disruption from the pandemic is continuing to create huge economic pressures from the top to the bottom of the football pyramid,” he said.

“While we are fortunate to be in a more resilient position than most clubs, we are not immune from the impact.

“Despite this, we are delighted to have brought in Donny van de Beek from Ajax, adding further quality to a midfield already strengthened by the recruitment of Bruno Fernandes in January.”

Bruno Fernandes celebrates scoring Manchester United’s second goal against Brighton & Hove Albion in June. (Photo by Andy Rain/Pool via Getty Images)

“Both Donny and Bruno are players we had been tracking for some time and their signings reflect out long-term approach to blending high-quality recruits with homegrown talent to develop a squad capable of winning trophies playing attacking, entertaining football.”

Woodward was also keen to emphasise the importance of handing out new contracts to players like 32-year-old Nemanja Matić.

“As part of that process, we have also awarded new contracts to Nemanja Matic and academy graduates Dean Henderson, Brandon Williams, Scott McTominay and Mason Greenwood over the past year. We have also continued to strengthen our thriving academy by attracting several promising young players from across Europe, including Marc Jurado from Barcelona and Alvaro Fernandez Carreras from Real Madrid.

“Together, these investments reinforce our optimism about the future, and we will continue to build on these strong foundations. However, we must also be responsible in our use of resources during the most extraordinarily challenging time for everyone in football.”

Playing the long game and planning a title assault some time around 2024.

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