Man U waiting on CL status ahead of transfer activity


Manchester United are delaying decisions on signings amid uncertainty over Champions League qualification.

The MEN understands United have not put out any more feelers after it was confirmed the summer transfer window would open on July 27 and close on October 5.

Senior United figures are believed to have held a meeting last week that was attended by Matthew Judge, tasked with negotiating transfers, before the window opens on Monday. United had settled on their list of targets before the UK lockdown.

United are third in the Premier League and need a point to secure a top four finish but travel to Leicester, a point behind in fifth, this weekend for their final league fixture.

Should United finish fifth they could still clinch a return to the Champions League next season through the Europa League but the final is not staged until August 21. The transfer window is open for 70 days.

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward promised supporters the club will invest in the squad this summer but cautioned the upcoming window would be fraught with uncertainty.

“The ongoing disruption from the pandemic – and the economic pressures it has created – has shown why it is so important for football clubs to focus on their financial stability,” he wrote in the programme for the West Ham game.

“We are fortunate to have a strong and resilient commercial business which has supported long-term investment in our team. That will continue, albeit with extra caution in the coming months as we navigate our way through this uncertain period.”

United drew up their shortlist of targets at the start of the year and their preference is to execute deals from February onwards. United attempted to set up the framework of a deal for the Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish before football was suspended in mid-March.

After what was possibly his last appearance for Villa against Arsenal at Villa Park on Tuesday night, Grealish was asked about his future and replied: “I’m not too sure at the moment.”

United deemed Grealish, 24, more attainable than Leicester playmaker James Maddison due to the likelihood of Villa’s relegation, however victory over Arsenal lifted Villa out of the bottom three and Maddison, currently sidelined through injury, could miss out on a Champions League place. United have also scouted Ajax playmaker Donny van de Beek.

Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho remains a priority target for United three years after they attempted to prise him from Manchester City as a 17-year-old. United wanted to sign Sancho, 20, last year but their failure to offer Champions League football scuppered a move and Dortmund want in excess of €100m for the England international.

Jude Bellingham met Woodward and Judge at United’s Carrington training ground in March but the 17-year-old opted to join Dortmund due to reassurances over playing time.

United are open to recruiting a centre-back but accept they must reduce an already bloated department, with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, and Marcos Rojo free to leave permanently before next season.


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