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Woodward admits summer transfer window is ‘important opportunity’ for Man Utd’s ‘rebuild’

Under fire executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has admitted that this summer is an ‘important’ part of Manchester United’s rebuild as they look to return to the top of English and European football.

Woodward has become a focal point for fans fury after yet another underwhelming season for Manchester United, who, after 25 Premier League games, have picked up just 35 points, the Red Devils currently sitting a whopping 38 points behind Liverpool, and six behind fourth-placed Chelsea.

The Old Trafford outfit have only finished in the top four twice since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, despite a significant financial outlay during that time, with a whole host of expensive signings having flopped.

Woodward has often been slated for his sweeping statements about the clubs financial power in the transfer market, and speaking via a statement at a recent fans forum, the 48-year-old admitted that it would be an ‘important’ summer for the club.

“Our recruitment process focuses on analysis and selection of players over the course of a season, with a view to the following summer transfer window,” Woodward said.

“As part of the rebuild, we see this coming summer as an important opportunity.

“There has been no shortage of investment in players over the past few years, with over £200 million spent since Ole became manager. Our aim is to ensure that we continue to achieve consistency in quality of recruitment.

“The recruitment department is working to a clear plan and philosophy, along with Ole and his coaching staff. Our focus is on bringing in a combination of experience and the best young players with potential to develop further, fusing graduates from our academy with high-quality acquisitions.”

United may well be significantly off the pace at present, though Woodward has insisted that it remains the clubs ‘overwhelming priority’ to return to the pinnacle of club football, though admitted that the journey ‘may not always be smooth’.

“The signing of Bruno Fernandes and return of key players from injury will be a boost to Ole and the squad as we head into the second half of the season,” Woodward added.

“We remain in contention in the Europa League and the FA Cup, as well as for Champions League qualification, so there is still lots to play for.

“As a club and a board, we do recognise that we are not yet where we want to be. It is the overwhelming priority of everyone at the club to get us back to regularly challenging for Premier League and Champions League titles.

“Although progress may not always be smooth, everyone across the club is focused and committed on playing their part in helping achieve those aims.”

United return to action next Monday with a crucial clash against Chelsea, a game which could prove pivotal in the race for the top four, before jetting to Belgium for the first leg of their Europa League last 32 tie with Club Brugge.

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