Manchester United transfer plans ‘ahead of schedule’, claims John Murtough

    Manchester United v Real Sociedad: Group E - UEFA Europa League
    Erik ten Hag was backed in the summer transfer market (Picture: Getty)

    Manchester United are ‘ahead of schedule’ in regards to recruitment after handing Erik ten Hag more funds than originally planned last summer, John Murtough has claimed.

    The Dutchman was handed a budget of around £130m when he joined the club from Ajax last April but United released an extra £90m in funds after losing to Brentford and Brighton in their first two fixtures of the season.

    United spent £220m in total last summer on Lisandro Martinez, Christian Eriksen, Tyrell Malacia, Casemiro, Martin Dubravka and Antony.

    That’s helped United to recover from their poor start, with the side winning their next four fixtures after the loss to Brentford in mid-August.

    Ten Hag remains keen to strengthen the squad and he even hinted at additions in January in an interview given before the international break.

    The Dutchman wants a right-back, another midfielder and a new centre forward but he chose to prioritise other areas last summer.

    But Murtough, United’s Football Director, says the club are ‘ahead of schedule’ and does not anticipate spending such amounts in coming windows.

    Manchester United Erik ten Hag Press Conference
    Murtough says he’s pleased with the start Ten Hag has made (Picture: Getty)

    ‘During the summer we made significant investment in the first team squad with the permanent addition of five regular starters, including a balance of experienced international players and younger, emerging talent,” Murtough said.

    ‘We also saw a higher-than-usual number of departures, and this was an equally important part of refreshing the squad after the disappointing 2021-22 season.

    ‘We will continue to support Erik in ensuring he has players with the right quality and characters to achieve success, while ensuring that investment remains consistent with our commitment to financial sustainability.

    ‘Overall, we are ahead of schedule in our recruitment plans as envisaged at the start of the summer, and we do not anticipate the same level of activity in future windows. As always, our planning focuses on the summer window.’

    ‘The most important development during the 2021-22 season was the appointment of Erik ten Hag as manager,” Murtough added.

    ‘After a thorough search and due diligence process it was clear to us that Erik was the strongest candidate, based on his outstanding coaching record, his commitment to the proactive, attacking football we want to play, and the vision and ambition he showed for the role.

    ‘There is still a long way to go, but we have already seen, during his first four months in charge, an increased unity, focus and drive that bodes well for the future.’

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