After a disastrous summer a year ago, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward promised that the club would deliver early signings this season, but once again he has failed to deliver, and that has to worry new United manager Louis van Gaal.
United are supposed to have a transfer budget of around £150 million, but a war chest is no good if it is not spent. handed to Woodward by the American Glazer family, who own the club
Already this summer United have let Cesc Fabregas and Toni Kroos slip through their fingers. Both players wanted to move to Old Trafford, but Woodward, who is reminding me more and more of Pete Kenyon each day, was unable to close either deal.
Now we hear that Southampton fullback Luke Shaw’s £27m move to United has hit a snag, despite the fact that Shaw agreed personal terms with United weeks ago.
Part of the problem is that Woodward spent the last six months working off a list of preferred signings that David Moyes wanted like Porto midfielder William Carvalho and Dortmund’s Marco Reus. LVG has a different list that is said to include Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger and Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal.
United were expected to add five or six players this summer, with LVG wanting at least four of those signings completed before the club heads to America in mid-July. That is only five weeks ago.
If there are no new signings by then, Woodward could find himself replaced by a director of football, similar to the way that former Barcelona official Txiki Begiristain handles all the transfers at Man City.