Man Utd chief John Murtough lets slip transfer plan going forward
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Manchester United football director John Murtough has indicated Erik ten Hag will not have any money to spend in the January transfer window as the club “don’t anticipate” being able to continue improving their squad until next summer. The Red Devils spent in excess of £200million this past summer on the likes of Casemiro and Antony with Ten Hag taking over as the club’s new boss.
After a shaky start to the season, United have begun to show promise with wins already against Liverpool, Arsenal and recently Tottenham. The end goal for all involved at United is to help return the club back to the top of the Premier League table.
But there’s an acceptance that money will still need to be spent to help keep up with the likes of Manchester City while Newcastle are also making noise with their Saudi-backed owners. This past summer’s investment in the squad was an example of United’s own financial power.
However, Murtough has made it clear that Ten Hag will not be able to rely on similar levels of money being spent in future years. Speaking at last month’s fan’s forum – which has only just been made public now – Murtough added it’s unlikely any new players will be signed in January with most of their focus being on next summer.
“Ultimately, we made a record level of investment for a single window, reflecting the conditions in the market, but also our commitment to supporting the manager,” Murtough told the latest United fans’ forum last month. “We always said that reshaping the squad would take more than a window and we’re already working with Erik on the next steps in that process, with a focus on next summer and beyond.
“But it’s important to recognise that investment must always be sustainable, meaning that what we spend on players must be supported by revenues over the long-term. We ended the summer slightly ahead of where we expected to be in terms of the number of players brought in, so we don’t anticipate the same level of activity in future windows, although we will continue to strengthen.”
Despite hinting that the club ended up signing more players than they initially planned to do so, Murtough was happy with the players they brought in. And the United football director made it clear what Ten Hag’s role was during the transfer window.
“Three of those signings were young players with potential for further development, and three were highly-experienced internationals and winners – exactly in line with the blend of youth and experience that we were aiming for,” Murtough added. “All six of the new signings are technically very strong but they were also chosen because of their character – Erik’s approach is totally aligned with the Club’s philosophy of having a team of winners and fighters and we saw that in different ways in all the players brought in.
“We also saw a larger than usual number of players leave, and this was also an important part of refreshing and reinvigorating the squad. Every decision about a player coming in or leaving was agreed by both the manager and club officials – that’s a crucial principle that we will always stick to.”
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