Ed Woodward insists Manchester United are ready and willing to break the British transfer record if new manager Louis van Gaal decides they need to do so.
Woodward endured a frustrating first summer as United’s executive vice-chairman last year, as mooted transfers for Cesc Fabregas, Thiago Alcantara, Gareth Bale and even Cristiano Ronaldo failed to materialise.
United have paid upwards of £50 million (€63.3m) for Luke Shaw and Ander Herrera, but as has been the case for the last few years, the biggest transfers have taken place away from Old Trafford this summer.
Real Madrid signed James Rodriguez for £63m (€79.7) yesterday and Barcelona paid £75m (€94.9m) for Luis Suarez earlier this month.
When asked whether United would be willing to pay a similar amount for a player, Woodward said: “It is in our capabilities. The club are not afraid of doing that — spending significant amounts of money in the transfer market.”
Such a move would cause United to break the £50m (€63.3m) British record transfer fee paid by Chelsea for Fernando Torres in 2011.
Woodward insists neither he nor the club would be fazed about being responsible for such a big deal.
“Whether it’s a record or not doesn’t really resonate with us,” said Woodward, who denied new boss Louis van Gaal has been given a top-four minimum target.
“What resonates is a top, top elite player that the manager wants that is going to be a star for Manchester United.
“We are in a very strong financial position. We can make big signings.
“I get pointed in the direction of a target that the manager wants and there is an assessment of what that might cost and I’ll negotiate hard to do the best I can on the trade.”
As well as experiencing troubles in the transfer market last season, Woodward also took the difficult decision to sack David Moyes, who was just 10 months into a six-year contract.
Woodward admits it was a tough call.
“I can’t think of any bigger (decision),” he admitted. “It is the most important role in the club by some distance.”
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