Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has confirmed that there is likely to be more transfer activity at Old Trafford this summer than in recent years. Woodward, along with manager David Moyes, was widely criticized for failing to make more additions to the squad last summer, with the only major signing being Marouane Fellaini. As the Premier League champions have toiled this campaign, Juan Mata became the club’s record signing in January to try and provide a boost. Yet, with clear weaknesses still apparent in the squad, Woodward explained that there could be a significant turnover of players in the close season.
“It's fair to say we are focused on strengthening the squad and looking at some players to sell, he said, according to BBC Sport. “We're not afraid to move in the market in a way we haven't in recent years."
"Historically, we've had roughly three sales and three purchases each year, and it's possible we'll do more than that. It's a dynamic situation. We're not in the position we want to be in and we're working hard to change that. We will invest in our squad as needed to make sure we're competing at the highest level.”
One player already confirmed to be leaving Old Trafford at the end of the season is captain Nemanja Vidic. The United captain has announced that he will move on with the expiration of his contract and speculation has already started as to the players who could replace the Serbian stalwart.
The Daily Mirror has claimed that Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk and Marseille’s Nicolas N’Koulou feature strongly on Moyes’ list of targets. United are believed to have been monitoring the Netherlands Under-21 international since he joined the Scottish champions from Eredivisie side Groningen last summer.
Meanwhile, 23-year-old N’Koulou, who made his debut for Cameroon at the age of 18, has been linked with a move to the Premier League for some time. Marseille also claimed last month that they rejected a bid in excess of €12 million (£9.8m) from Napoli.
There is also likely to be much focus on strengthening the club’s midfield. Several big-name players were linked in January, including Juventus pair Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba, with it being widely believed that Manchester Untied would return to try and prize them away in the summer.
However, United’s chances of landing either Vidal or Pogba appear to have taken significant blows. Pogba, who left United for Juventus at the end of his contract in 2012, is set to sign a new deal with Juventus, according to widespread reports. Indeed, the Daily Mirror asserts that the extension would tie the France to the Italian champions until 2018 while trebling his salary.
Meanwhile, the Daily Mail has claimed that Vidal has also signed a new deal, despite only having extended his contract in December. It is now believed that the Chile international will earn close to £200,000 a week, as Juventus try to stave off growing interest in his services. It was always going to take a massive offer to secure the services of either player, and now their valuations will have crept up even higher.