Ed Woodward: January transfers deals 'low probability' for Manchester United
Manchester United are unlikely to enter the transfer market in January, with executive vice chairman Ed Woodward ruling out going for "short-term fixes."
The former Premier League champions spent 153 million pounds on six new players in the summer but are only seventh in the league and announced on Tuesday that revenue dropped by almost 10 million pounds in the first quarter of the financial year.
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But while they have funds available to sign again, Woodward said there was a "low probability" they would buy and they would only move if next summer's transfer targets become available in the winter window.
Woodward told Wall Street analysts in a conference call: "We are not looking to enter the market for short-term fixes. We have targets we are looking at for next summer. Should any become available in January, which is rare, we will consider acting on it. But in terms of expectations, we all need to recognise that's a low probability."
United broke the British transfer record in August to sign Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for 59.7 million pounds and also bought Luke Shaw, Ander Herrera, Daley Blind and Marcos Rojo, while taking Radamel Falcao on a season-long loan.
Manager Louis van Gaal has said he is interested in Roma midfielder Kevin Strootman and there are suggestions he might sign a centre-back -- a position where United have suffered from a series of injuries -- but Woodward indicated that deals before the end of the season were unlikely.
Despite bringing in six high-profile players, with Falcao and Di Maria expected to be among the highest-paid at Old Trafford, United revealed that their wage bill has gone down 6.6 percent in the first three months of the financial year.
That is partly because they are not playing Champions League football -- which would have brought bonuses to the squad -- but it also reflects the departures of high earners including Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Patrice Evra, Shinji Kagawa and Danny Welbeck, while Ryan Giggs retired as a player to become assistant manager.
United said they banked 18.3 million pounds in the three months to the end of September from player sales, mainly resulting from Welbeck's 16 million-pound move to Arsenal.
While United have only won four competitive games in Van Gaal's reign and are yet to taste victory away from home under him, Woodward added: "There's a real feeling at the club that we're at the start of something special. Fans understand the team is heading in the right direction."
United saw a 9.9 percent drop in revenue for the first quarter of the financial year, but the club said the 9.8 million-pound decrease in income was in line with their projections in a year in which they have no European football.
Woodward highlighted United's vast fanbase, saying the club have 87 million followers across all social media, including 63 million on Facebook.
Di Maria and Falcao saw a 12- and 10-fold increase in Google searches when they joined United, while Blind's Twitter following went up by 72 percent.
And Woodward suggested 24,000 articles are written about the club every month, explaining: "For every article on our website, and there are about 150 a month, about 160 about Manchester United are written elsewhere."