Man Utd football director admits January signings are unlikely

    John Murtough says Man Utd made a 'record level of investment' in the summer (Picture: Getty)
    John Murtough says Man Utd made a ‘record level of investment’ in the summer (Picture: Getty)

    Manchester United football director John Murtough has admitted that January signings are unlikely when the transfer window reopens.

    United spent £227m on new faces this summer under new boss Erik ten Hag – bringing in Antony, Lisandro Martinez, Casemiro and Tyrell Malacia – while Christian Eriksen joined on a free transfer and Martin Dubravka arrived on loan.

    They missed out on Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong, thought to be the club’s No.1 target, and were also linked with moves for many other players including Cody Gakpo from PSV and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic of Lazio.

    Murtough, though, has hinted at the January window being more quiet for United and says the club are likely to instead make moves 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.

    ‘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.’

    Meanwhile, Rio Ferdinand says Ten Hag must let Cristiano Ronaldo leave United in January if continues to be restricted to a bit-part role at the club.

    The former United defender told his YouTube channel: ‘If [Ten Hag] doesn’t see Ronaldo as a starter in his team more often than not, I think he has to release him from his contract.

    ‘He has to let him go. It’s not fair on anybody, on the club, on Ronaldo, on Ten Hag, that the first question after every game is ‘Why didn’t Ronaldo start?’

    ‘That will be a story. United won 2-0 [against Tottenham] and the leading story will be about Ronaldo. That can’t be right.’

    MORE : Rio Ferdinand identifies where Manchester United need to improve most

    MORE : ‘A natural!’ Owen Hargreaves claims Erik Ten Hag has a new undroppable after Spurs win

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