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Man Utd offer mixed updates on Ten Hag's rebuild

Man Utd football director offers both positive and worrying updates on Ten Hag's rebuild

September 22, 2022 By Ali M.
While the club have already lavished Ten Hag with praise for the work he's doing at Old Trafford, the Red Devils will roll back on the resources offered to their manager.

After kicking off the Premier League season in horrific fashion, losing their opening two games 2-1 and 4-0 to Brighton and Brentford respectively, Manchester United have slowly turned their campaign around.

The Red Devils have gone on to win the four English top-flight fixtures that followed, including impressive home victories over Liverpool and current league leaders Arsenal, and have thus climbed from the bottom of the table to fifth.

And as a result, when discussing the club's rebuild under new manager Erik ten Hag, Old Trafford football director John Murtough spoke in glowing terms about the team's future and the ongoing project led by the Dutch tactician.

In fact, Murtough went as far as claiming that Manchester United are ahead of schedule in their fight to return to the pinnacle of English football, a title which has been wrestled away by their two bitter rivals Manchester City and Liverpool.

However, it wasn't all great news. The Manchester United executive also made a worrying admission about the club's transfer plans after their latest financial results were released, announcing that the 20-time English champions will not be able to spend big as they did over the recent summer transfer window.

Despite missing out on UEFA Champions League football and the revenue that comes along with that prestigious tournament, the Red Devils spent over £225M (over $253M) on signings. While Christian Eriksen, who has been a revelation since moving from Brentford to the Theatre of Dreams, was signed for free, the likes of Antony, Lisandro Martinez, and Casemiro all came with hefty price tags.

As a result, the UEFA Europa League side do not plan on making further signings in January and will be hesitant to launch back-to-back summer spending sprees.

"During the summer we made significant investment in the first team squad with the permanent addition of five regular starters, including a balance of experienced international players and younger, emerging talent," Murtough said, as per ESPN.

"We also saw a higher-than-usual number of departures, and this was an equally important part of refreshing the squad after the disappointing 2021-22 season.

"We will continue to support Erik in ensuring he has players with the right quality and characters to achieve success, while ensuring that investment remains consistent with our commitment to financial sustainability.

"Overall, we are ahead of schedule in our recruitment plans as envisaged at the start of the summer, and we do not anticipate the same level of activity in future windows. As always, our planning focuses on the summer window."

One look into the club's finances explains why the Premier League giants are likely to be more frugal in the foreseeable future. Not only did Manchester United announce a net loss of £115.5M ($130M) for 2021-22, but their debt also increased by £94.5M ($106M).

Additionally, the spiraling wage bill increased by £61M ($69M) to £384M ($432M) due to the signings made in both 2021 and 2022. And last but not least, the club lost an additional £24.7M ($28M) when terminating the contracts of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick.

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