Manchester United respond to fans' criticism of David Moyes and their transfer policy by refusing to trigger an 'eight-week panic' for new players
United made the late addition of Marouane Fellaini for £27.5m when they could have signed him for £23.5m a month earlier
Wednesday 18 September 2013
Manchester United have responded to fans worried over the club’s transfer policy by claiming they refused to get into an “eight-week panic” to strengthen the squad during the summer window.
United were criticised for their lack of transfer activity during the summer as they signed Marouane Fellaini for £27.5m on transfer deadline day - £4m more than his buy-out clause which expired at the end of July – as well as young defenders Guillermo Varela and Saidy Janko.
Both Moyes and in particular chief executive Ed Woodward were criticised for their lack of movement, with Fellaini the only one of the trio likely to feature for the first-team this season.
Considering that Moyes signed Fellaini for Everton, and would have known exactly when the buy-out clause expired, angry and frustrated fans wrote to the club demanding for answers as to why the club paid considerably more than they had to.
Under the fans’ charter, established by the Premier League to which United adhere to, director of communications at Old Trafford Phil Townsend has responded to the letters to defend the club’s positioning on their transfer policy.
"The club has always backed the manager in the transfer market, as Sir Alex (Ferguson) has said on many occasions and it will continue to do so," said Townsend.
"The club has demonstrated its belief in, and commitment to, David Moyes through the award of a six-year contract.
"Allowing him to shape the future Manchester United team is a long-term project not an eight-week panic.
"He must be given time to assess his new squad and come to his own decisions on which players he feels will strengthen it."
Townsend also elaborated on the club’s two main concerns this summer – holding onto striker Wayne Rooney and bringing in a new midfielder – which he says the club met, and that they have strengthened much more than many have given them credit for.
"The club had two main priorities for the transfer window," said Townsend.
"The first was to keep Wayne Rooney.
"He is a world-class player and the manager is very keen to have Wayne as a key part of the club's drive to retain the Premier League trophy. That aim was fulfilled.
"The second priority was to add a midfield player, and the capture of Fellaini has met that need.
"Add to that the fact that Wilfried Zaha is a new signing and that the manager has added the highly-rated young player Adnan Januzaj to the squad and the team does in fact have a different feel to it than the one that finished last season."
Zaha joined the squad this summer having remained on-loan with Crystal Palace after his January signing
All-in-all, Townsend claims that the club spent in excess of £40m in the summer, although that figure does include the signing of Zaha after he spent the second half of last season on-loan at Crystal Palace, the club he signed from.
He also revealed that the money was being invested in keeping those that featured in last season’s Premier League title winning side with the club in the form of new contracts. Winger Nani has already agreed a new five-year deal, while a number of other players are in talks over extending their stay at Old Trafford including youngster Januzaj, with rivals Manchester City believed to be interested in the hot prospect.
Januzaj has been promoted to the first-team squad this season
"Additional resources were there to add to that but it was not possible to agree with other clubs for the right players to leave," said Townsend.
"The key point there is that the players we buy have to be the right ones for Manchester United; not just any player.
Townsend then revealed that a number of summer targets linked with a move to Old Trafford did not actually feature in Moyes’ plans, with United being linked with big money moves for Gareth Bale and Mesut Ozil which failed to materialise at all as they moved to Real Madrid and Arsenal respectively.
"It is worth pointing out that many of the players the club was associated with during the window had never figured in David Moyes' plans and the name of Manchester United was being used by others to inflate players' values or raise the profile of their availability."
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