Ole Gunnar Solskajer has admitted he is unsure on what transfer budget he will have at his disposal this summer, suggesting Manchester United could have been ‘hit more than anybody else’ during the coronavirus pandemic.
Financially speaking, Manchester United are one of the strongest clubs in the world, and have once again been linked with splashing the cash this summer despite the impact of the virus on football’s spending power.
The Red Devils have been linked with the likes of Jadon Sancho, Jack Grealish and Jude Bellingham over recent months, the former said to be valued in excess of £100 million by Borussia Dortmund.
However, speaking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup quarter-final tie at Norwich, United boss Solskjaer admitted that while the club were ‘financially strong’, the size of their transfer budget is so far undetermined as they wait to see ‘the real effects of the pandemic’.
“I think the pandemic has hit everyone really hard,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference.
“I still think we need to wait and see how things are panning out to know the real effects of the pandemic, to know what kind of financial state we are in.
It hurts Solskjaer to see Liverpool win the Premier League 💔 pic.twitter.com/6qQlZXpzPn
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“You see some teams invest, some teams don’t. We’ll have to take a big look at things ourselves to see how hard we’ve been hit. I know the club has announced a few numbers before.
“It’s not for me to say here now we are going to have X amount because I don’t really know. I don’t really know how hard we have been hit. We are a financially strong club, but we are also probably being hit more than anybody else.”
United are five points behind fourth-placed Chelsea in the race for Champions League qualification, and six behind Leicester, though the outcome of Man City‘s European ban could open up an additional spot.
The Red Devils could also qualify by winning this season’s Europa League, and Solskjaer seemed to suggest that qualifying for Europe’s elite tournament will be essential to maximise the clubs spending power – their £75 million-a-year sponsorship deal with Adidas set to drop by 30% should they fail.
“Let’s see how quickly we can get our fans back into the stadium and of course the league position is going to be important for us this season. If we can get a trophy, the FA Cup or the Europa League.
“The Europa League will also qualify us for the Champions League, there’s still a lot of uncertainty and these three or four months, every businessman in the world, every footballer in the world, I think everyone is still unsure what the effect will be.”