€140m to make Man United champions again - Old Trafford bosses to confirm transfer budget for Van Gaal
Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is expected to shed light on spending plans for a return to the Champions League next season when the club publishes its quarterly accounts tomorrow at lunchtime.
United are due to reveal financial figures for the first three months of 2015 to shareholders tomorrow and Woodward will face questions from investors over the prospect of substantial summer spending to strengthen Louis van Gaal’s squad ahead of the 2015-16 campaign.
Van Gaal has guided United to Champions League qualification in his first year in charge after inheriting a team which missed out on Europe altogether by finishing seventh last season.
And although the club will face a two-legged play-off in August in order to qualify for the lucrative Champions League group stages should they, as expected, fail to climb into the top three over the final two games of this campaign, Van Gaal is set to be given in excess of £100m to bolster his squad in preparation for the Champions League.
Woodward will make a statement to investors about the club’s commercial revenues and performance on the pitch before fielding questions in a conference call about the financial outlook at Old Trafford.
And while missing out on this season’s Champions League has cost United in the region of £50 million, a return to the competition, combined with the start of a £75 million-a-year kit deal with adidas on August 1, will see the club’s finances boosted by at least £100 million next season.
Van Gaal, who spent over £150 million during last summer’s transfer window, is keen to add at least four new signings to his squad, with PSV Eindhoven winger Memphis Depay confirmed as the first arrival last week in a £22m deal.
Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels is expected to follow Depay to Old Trafford, with Van Gaal also interested in Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne, Athletic Bilbao defender Aymeric Laporte and Juventus midfielders Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal.
Meanwhile, United’s Argentine duo Marcos Rojo and Ángel Di María are set to miss the club’s pre-season tour of the United States after being selected for their country’s Copa America squad.
Antonio Valencia, who will play in the tournament for Ecuador, is also likely to miss the trip to the States.
With all players entitled to four weeks holiday - three of which must be continuous - Van Gaal is set to allow his South Americans to return directly to Manchester at the end of their summer break rather than summon them to the States for the final stages of the four-game tour.