Man Utd chief Ed Woodward makes strong transfer statement after failed Jadon Sancho move

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has defended the club’s performance in the summer transfer window after failing to land Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho. The Red Devils courted the 20-year-old attacker throughout the summer but saw all offers for his services rejected.

Speaking after United had revealed on Wednesday an expected £70m loss during the coronavirus pandemic, Woodward asserted that the club still has a ‘clear strategy’ to build a ‘successful, committed team’.

“On the field, we will never be satisfied at Manchester United unless we are winning trophies,” he said.

“But our third-place finish in the Premier League and strong cup runs last season showed that, while there is more hard work ahead and the path is not always smooth, we are making progress.

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“We have a clear strategy under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to build a successful, committed team, with a core of home-grown talent blended with high-quality recruits, that plays fast flowing, attacking football.

“To that end, 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.”

Woodward also praised the club for managing to secure the signings of young pair Facundo Pellistri and Amad Diallo.

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Pellistri joined from Uruguayan outfit Penarol, while Diallo will make the switch to Manchester in January after terms were agreed with Serie A outfit Atalanta earlier this month.

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

“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 United chief also defended the club’s transfer spending, arguing that United’s rivals in terms of club size were cautious with their spending.

“Gross transfer spending across the big five European leagues was down around 40% this summer, driven by both a lower volume of transactions and lower average fees.

“The contraction was also felt at the top-end of the market, with no transactions over €100m for the first time in five years; and an almost 30% reduction in the average fee for the top 30 transfers.

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“At a club level, many of our peers were cautious, with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Juventus and PSG having a combined net spent of €9m; or a median net spend of €13m.

“Of course there were one or two outliers the other way, most notably Chelsea, who were making up for not being able to be active during their transfer ban in summer 2019.

“But one needs to look across multiple windows to gain a clearer perspective; and as I mentioned earlier our aggregate net investment over the last three transfer windows compares very favourably with our peers.”

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