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Ed Woodward suggests funds for transfers could be limited by coronavirus

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Manchester United could miss out

Chelsea FC v Manchester United - Premier League
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UntitledPhoto by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images

Manchester United executive vice-chairman has warned that there could be much less money around for transfers as clubs struggle to deal with the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We need visibility of the impact across the whole industry, including timings of the transfer window and the wider financial picture, before we can talk about a return to normality,” Woodward told supporters in a United fans forum on Friday.

“On this basis, I cannot help feeling that speculation around transfers of individual players for hundreds of millions of pounds this summer seems to ignore the realities that face the sport.”

The United executive also warned that as well as the impact on the economics of football, there will be implications for fans hoping to regularly attend matches at Old Trafford and elsewhere, with some expecting no fans to be in the grounds for at least the rest of the year.

“While it may be that games need to be played behind closed doors in the shorter term, we all recognise that football will not be fully back to normal until supporters are once again in attendance,” Woodward explained.

Nevertheless, he said that Old Trafford is being redeveloped to improve the atmosphere for fans.

“We are pushing ahead with a series of initiatives to enhance the matchday experience at Old Trafford, including.the planned trial of rail seating, and the completion of our expanded state-of-the-art facilities for disabled supporters.

“These matters pale in comparison with the immediate priority of fighting coronavirus. But they give us things to look forward to when we are eventually allowed back to Old Trafford to watch football.”

United have been linked with a £200 million move for Tottenham Hotspur striker Harry Kane, and Jadon Sancho who is expected to cost around half that amount. Jack Grealish could in turn be available for half that amount, which is a nice but simple maths puzzle to end the story on. Bye.