Man Utd will be 'highly competitive' in transfer market, says Woodward

Ed Woodward recently said that speculation around big-money transfers were ignoring reality due to the financial hit clubs would take because of COVID-19.

Ed Woodward insisted Manchester United would be "highly competitive" in the transfer market despite the coronavirus pandemic.

United's executive vice-chairman said recently that speculation around big-money transfers were ignoring reality due to the financial hit clubs would take because of COVID-19.

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The Premier League giant has been linked with moves for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho and Tottenham forward Harry Kane among others.

But Woodward said United wanted to back manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the market.

"It's always a top priority for us to strengthen the team and build on what Ole is very clearly achieving in terms of bringing us back to the top, but we've got to have clarity on what the future holds," he told a fans' forum.

"Clearly, it's true we are fortunate to be in a strong financial position compared to many clubs, but we are not immune from the financial impact of what this virus is doing.

"I would say that once we have that visibility of a path through the crisis and coming out of the other side to relative normality, then, of course, we aim to remain highly competitive in the market.

"As I said before and I've said this many times – we remain committed to backing Ole to win trophies. That's our core objective as a club."

United was fifth in the Premier League and still alive in the Europa League and FA Cup when this season was suspended last month.

Woodward said he expected games to be behind closed doors when, and if, the season resumes.

"I think we all agree that we want supporters back watching football at Old Trafford as soon as possible, but that can only happen when we are advised it is safe to do so and, clearly, the government has a major say in that," he said.

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"No decisions have been made yet but we think it is possible that the initial games, particularly the ones related to finishing or trying to complete this season, will probably have to be played behind closed doors. But that is not confirmed yet.

"We're not necessarily happy about that. Clearly, football requires our fans in the stadium for it to be complete, but public health must come first and, as I said, this is down to the government."

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