Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has given the clubs supporters some hope after an interview filmed in Los Angeles was aired on MUTV on Sunday evening. In the interview conducted by MUTV’s Stewart Gardner, Woodward gave a message to the supporters regarding transfers this summer, “watch this space”. Those words will excite many with the club continued to be linked with Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal, German defender and World Champion Mats Hummels and a whole host of other players including Dutch defender Stefan de Vrij.
So far this summer, United have signed Spanish midfielder Ander Herrera, a player that they failed to sign last summer under David Moyes and England left-back Luke Shaw, both were signed within two days of each other at the end of June. With the current state of the midfield, Herrera will be a great signing as he will strengthen his position and help the team push on the better their end of season position after finishing seventh in the Barclays Premier League and losing European football for this coming season. Shaw will also be a great signing for the club as he will play on for years as the clubs first choice left back with Patrice Evra seemingly leaving for Juventus this summer and Alexander Büttner having already left for Russia.
The Old Trafford supremo, who was ridiculed last summer for the pursuit of many players, eventually signing Everton’s Marouane Fellaini on deadline day, which was seen by many as a panic buy. He did not hit form last season under Moyes and it is reported by many mainline media sources that his Old Trafford days could be over. Woodward also confirmed that the club may ship out players, again this is something that has been rumoured with the press with Anderson, Bebe, Ashley Young, Nani and Tom Cleverley all being linked with an exit from the club, to name but a few. Speaking to Stewart Gardner on MUTV, Woodward said:
“We’ve been working with Louis over several weeks with regards to targets and we’re continuing to move forward on some of those targets.
“We are still a huge attraction to top football stars around the world – there is no doubt about that. I hope [fans] will see the direction we’re heading in with the new manager, coaching staff and players, and a commitment to do what it takes to get back to the top.
“We are willing to invest. There is no fixed budget. Financially we are extremely strong and funds are available. Louis is assessing what’s going on and there is a lot of work going on behind the scenes, so watch this space.”
When Woodward was asked if players could be leaving the Old Trafford club, Woodward added:
“Yes, I think so. The manager makes that decision. A few players have already gone and there may well be a few others.
“It’s also worth commenting that we’re not in Europe this year, so there are fewer games and Louis may take the view that he wants a tighter squad to bed in.
“If you do the analysis over the last year, Liverpool performed extremely well with a smaller number of players, but that’s a decision for the manager.”
Manchester United have not set a target for new manager Louis van Gaal this coming season, but Woodward seems adamant that the club will be playing European football in the 2015/16 season, incidentally the first season that the club will be wearing an Adidas shirt since 1992. Woodward continued by saying:
“We’re a club that absolutely should be in the Champions League. That’s what our fans want, that’s what our players want and that’s what every member of staff wants.
“We have to strive to win. We’re not here to be an also-ran; we’re here to win trophies to add to that huge, incredible list that we’ve won over many years.”
Throughout the interview, I felt Woodward came across as very confident and also positive. It seemed like he knew what the clubs supporters will be finding out this summer. Obviously he will know what is going on and all, but the confidence when he was telling the supporters to “watch this space” makes everything seem imminent, for want of a better word. It seems that the clubs highest executive, who has brought in 29 separate sponsorship deals since he assumed his position just over a year ago, not to mention the AON Training Complex and training kit deals, or the £750 minimum deal with Adidas lasting for 10 years from the 2015/16 season,.
It now seems that he has put the failure of last summer behind him, or it was not him that failed. That aside, he has hit the ground running, signed two players that will make a difference this coming season, found a manager that has got the clubs supporters excited and also excited the supporters with the promise of more signings this summer with the chance of the club getting rid of some of the players that just do not cut the mustard at the Old Trafford club. What could be better than this if it all does come good before the summer transfer window closes at the end of August.