Premier League English

Woodward says Solskjaer will be backed in transfer market

The ominous swing of the pendulum seems to be favoring Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is of the view that the Norwegian manager is making progress with the side and will continue to be backed by a long-term recruitment plan focused on the summer transfer window.

Solskjaer’s position has again of late come under scrutiny after defeats by Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir last month, but four wins from five games see them trail Premier League leaders Tottenham Hotspur by five points with a game in hand, with only a point needed to reach the Champions League knockout stages.

“We recognise there’s more hard work ahead to achieve the consistency needed to win trophies,” Woodward said at a fans forum.

“But we see positive signs on the pitch and the training ground that reinforce our belief in the progress being made by Ole, his coaching team and the players.”

Woodward – on his part, though the legions of Old Trafford fans would beg to differ – maintains that United had kept their promise by recruiting ‘heavily’ in the summer transfer window despite the club’s financial situation being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We will continue to support Ole with a planned, long-term approach to recruitment, focused on the summer windows,” he added.

Woodward also said the club would not take part in any breakaway European Super League and that he was involved in talks aimed at the “strengthening of existing UEFA club competitions”.

“We believe that any changes to European competition post-2024 must be complementary to thriving domestic leagues,” Woodward, a board member of the European Club Association, said.

“Other domestic leagues feel the same way, reflected in conversation with our counterparts in other clubs and countries.”