Premier League

Woodward defends Man Utd transfer activity: 'We've spent more than anyone'

The Red Devils signed Donny van de Beek and Alex Telles for fees during the summer, but other key targets were not recruited

 
3:52pm on Wednesday 21st October 2020
By
Martin Macdonald

Manchester United chairman Ed Woodward has defended the club's activity in the transfer market, saying they have spent more than anyone over the last two summers.

Over the past six months, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made clear that his number one transfer target was Jadon Sancho of Dortmund.

The German side demanded a fee of around £112m for the England international, with Man Utd subsequently attempting to bring down the initial fee via the promise of add-ons and other incentives.

Dortmund didn't budge, which left Woodward scrambling for reinforcements on deadline day.

In the end, Edinson Cavani joined on a free transfer as well as Alex Telles of Porto, while Donny van de Beek was signed previously in the summer.

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When it became clear the Sancho deal wouldn't happen, United were linked with a host of other wingers including Ousmane Dembele and Jack Grealish, but none of those moves materialised either.

Among accusations that Solskjaer was not 'backed' in the transfer window, Woodward has hit back.

"We are pleased with our recent additions to the first team squad of Donny van de Beek and Alex Telles, two players we had been tracking as part of our recruitment process for a long period, and Edinson Cavani, a top striker who adds a new option to our forward line," he said in a statement released to United fans.

"We also welcome Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo, who will join in January, two exciting young prospects who have also been scouted extensively.

"Added to the arrival of Bruno Fernandes earlier this year, these recruits underscore our continued commitment to strengthening the squad and take our net investment in new players since summer 2019 to over €200m – more, I believe, than any other major European club over that time period."

The statement released from Man Utd included details of their increased debt over the coronavirus pandemic which went up 133% to £474m.

In their first Champions League match of the season on Tuesday evening, United scored an impressive 2-1 away victory at PSG.

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