Manchester United are targeting more new signings sooner rather than later, according to CEO Ed Woodward.
United have spent almost £80 million on four new players this summer with PSV Eindhoven forward Memphis Depay, Torino full-back Matteo Darmian, Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin and Bayern Munich legend Bastian Schweinsteiger moving to Old Trafford.
The quartet made their debuts in the 1-0 U.S. preseason tour victory over Club America on Saturday, and Woodward says he will look to make further additions with manager Louis van Gaal eyeing “at least two” new players.
On the possibility of signing new players, Woodward told MUTV:
“The sooner the better… Because it means Louis can start blending them into the team and getting them used to the training, get used to their colleagues.
“But we’ll see, with transfers, everyone wants to know what’s going to happen, who you’re talking to. The reality is we’ve been successful in bringing in four, which is fantastic so far, to the extent others come in, it’s up to Louis.
“We’ll continue to assess what’s out there and assess the squad we’ve got and think about the upcoming season, where we’re obviously going to have more games than last year. We’ll see.”
Asked about when scouting for new players starts, Woodward said:
“It’s really September. Once the window closes, your scouts are then starting to look at the key areas where you think you may have a weakness and the whole process starts.
“The manager will have had four more months of working with the squad [by January] and have had much better visibility of who the ins and outs should be, but the work has to have started to get them.
“Essentially there is [a physical list of names] because we track everything. That’s what the scouting team does. It’s relentless because you’re immediately focused on the next [signing].
“To that extent, I am completely aligned with the fans. When we tell them we’ve signed a player, there is a moment of happiness but then it’s about who’s next.
“There is a lot of work involved in terms of negotiations and that is time-consuming, so I prefer to look back at it at the end of the window, see the players on the pitch and see how they’ve been blended into the squad.”
The interesting part of this transfer window is that we have been told that United have a net transfer budget of around £150 million. That is net spend. Any money from the sale of Nani, van Persie, Evans and di Maria could conceivably be reinvested back into signings this summer.
That means United could have another £125-150 million to spend on players. That is plenty for the special player that Woodward thinks that United should be signing every season.