Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has reiterated his trust in the club's recruitment strategy and has promised the fans an exciting summer ahead. The Red Devils supporters have bemoaned the lack of quality signings in the recent past but Woodward feels the club is moving in the right direction.
The 48-year-old alluded to the deadline day signing of Bruno Fernandes and reminded everyone of the £200 million spent under the new manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Woodward hinted that there is already a transfer plan in motion which will enable the Red Devils to sign players they have been scouting for a while.
In a detailed statement given to Manchester Evening News, Woodward conceded that the 13-time Premier League champions may not be where they want to be in terms of success and trophies but claimed they are not too far behind either. The former investment banker believes the road to rebuilding is never easy and everyone involved with the club are doing their best, including the under-fire manager Solskjaer. Woodward said:
"Our focus is on bringing in a combination of experience and the best young players with potential to develop further, fusing graduates from our academy with high-quality acquisitions.
"Our recruitment process focuses on analysis and selection of players over the course of a season, with a view to the following summer transfer window. As part of the rebuild we see this coming summer as an important opportunity.
"Bruno Fernandes and the players we brought last summer are evidence that our process is the right one. There has been no shortage of investment in players over the past few years, with over £200m spent since Ole became manager. Our aim is to ensure that we continue to achieve consistency in quality of recruitment."
"However, as a club and a board, we do recognise that we are not yet where we want to be. It is the overwhelming priority of everyone at the club to get us back to regularly challenging for Premier League and Champions League titles. Although progress may not always be smooth, everyone across the club is focused and committed on playing their part in helping achieve those aims."
Manchester United have an important summer ahead
A lot of the experts believe that Fernandes has been signed from Solskjaer's summer transfer budget but that would not stop the Norweigian manager from going after the players who he thinks will improve the squad. Ed Woodward is believed to be endorsing the idea of signing a player only if he fits the cultural requirements at Old Trafford.
According to the executive vice-chairman, Manchester United will no longer be bullied in the transfer market and will not chase the 'high-profile' signings which they have been at fault for in the past. The likes of Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish are linked with a summer move to Old Trafford and Woodward believes the club has already laid down the necessary groundwork for their summer transfer activities. He was quoted saying:
"Significant work has already been done - and investments made - to strengthen the academy. And we’re pleased with the progress being made behind-the-scenes to ensure we have the right players, the right infrastructure, and the right culture to sustain long-term success."
Woodward has often been an easy target for United fans given his failure and reluctance in many of the recent transfer negotiations. However, he sounds bullish ahead of the next season and is ready to back the manager with big-money signings as well.
However, only time will tell whether Woodward will be able to back his own words and actually deliver multiple world-class signings in a single window.