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Woodward: No short-term fixes in January

ESPN staff
November 18, 2014
Manchester United legend Paul Scholes calls for patience with Louis van Gaal

Manchester United are unlikely to enter the transfer market in January as executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward ruled out going for "short-term fixes".

The former Premier League champions spent £152 million on six new players last summer and are only seventh in the league.

But while they have funds available to sign again, Woodward said there is a "low probability" they will buy and they will only move if next summer's transfer targets become available in the winter window.

All is well on the social front

  • Despite Manchester United's £10 million drop in revenue, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward highlighted the club's vast fanbase by saying they have 87 million followers across all social media, including 63 million on Facebook.
  • Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao saw a 12- and 10-fold increase in Google searches when they moved to Old Trafford, while Daley Blind's Twitter following went up 72%.
  • And Woodward suggested 24,000 articles are written every month about the club, explaining: "For every article on our website, and there are about 150 a month, about 160 about Manchester United are written elsewhere."

Woodward told Wall Street analysts: "We are not looking to enter the market for short-term fixes. We have targets we are looking at for next summer. Should any become available in January, which is rare, we will consider acting on it. But in terms of expectations we all need to recognise that's a low probability."

United broke the British transfer record in August to sign Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for £59.7m and also bought Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo, while taking Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan.

Manager Louis van Gaal has admitted he is interested in Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman and there are suggestions he might sign a centre-back, a position where United have suffered from a series of injuries, but Woodward indicated deals are unlikely before the end of the season.

And despite bringing in six high-profile players, with Falcao and Di Maria expected to be among the highest-paid at Old Trafford, United revealed their wage bill has gone down 6.6% in the first three months of the financial year.

It is partly because they are not playing Champions League football, which would have brought bonuses to the squad, but also reflects the departures of high earners including Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Shinji Kagawa and Danny Welbeck, while Ryan Giggs retired as a player to become assistant manager.

United said they banked £18.3m in the three months to the end of September from player sales, mainly resulting from Welbeck's £16m move to Arsenal.

While United have only won four competitive games in Van Gaal's reign and are yet to taste victory away from home under him, Woodward added: "There's a real feeling at the club that we're at the start of something special. Fans understand the team is heading in the right direction."

United announced financial figures on Tuesday which included a 9.9% drop in revenue for the first quarter of the financial year but said a £9.8m decrease in income was in line with their projections as they endure a year with no European football.

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