Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward warned that talk about big-money moves this close season ignored the financial realities facing clubs.
The Premier League giant has been linked with moves for Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho and Tottenham forward Harry Kane in the next transfer window.
However, the coronavirus pandemic is set to impact club's financially and potentially affect the timing of the transfer window.
Woodward wants greater clarity, but said rumours of big-money moves were wide of the mark.
"Nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of challenge facing everyone in football and it may not be 'business as usual' for any clubs, including ourselves, in the transfer market this summer," he told a United fans' forum on Friday, via The Guardian .
"As ever our priority is the success of team. But we need visibility of the impact across the whole industry, including timings of the transfer window, and the wider financial picture, before we can talk about a return to normality.
"On this basis, I cannot help feeling that speculation around transfers of individual players for hundreds of millions of pounds this summer seems to ignore the realities that face the sport."
The Premier League season was suspended last month with United sitting fifth in the table, and still alive in the Europa League and FA Cup.
Woodward is eager to see the campaign resume, but accepted it would likely restart behind closed doors.
"Like all of you, we are eager to see the team return to the field as soon as we are advised it is safe to do so, hopefully to complete a season which still held so much promise for us in the Premier League, the Europa League and the FA Cup when it was suspended," he said.
"We are in constant dialogue with our governing bodies about when and how that will happen and we will continue to engage with this forum to keep fans consulted.
"And while it may be that games need to be played behind closed doors in the shorter term, we all recognise that football will not be fully back to normal until supporters are once again in attendance."