Ed Woodward
Woodward says United are planning for a quiet January.Getty Images

Ed Woodward says Manchester United could spend in January - but only in the unlikely event that players already identified as summer transfer targets become available.

United's executive vice-president said in September the club would hold off spending significantly in the new year, after an outlay of close to £150m on players during the summer.

Upon announcing United's first quarterly financial figures to September 2014, which saw the club's revenue fall by nearly 10%, Woodward says the board's plans for January have not changed.

"We're not looking to enter the market for short-term fixes however we have targets that we are looking at for next summer," Woodward told an earnings conference call.

"Should any of those become available in January, which is obviously rare, we will consider acting. We have to accept that that is a low probability."

Having won just four of their first 11 league games, United have made a slow start to the season under Louis van Gaal, with a host of injury problems undermining the former Netherlands coach's progress during the opening months of his tenure.

However Woodward says United's board are optimistic about the future of the club, and after seeing the likes of Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair given first-team opportunities, he has stressed the importance of investment in their youth facilities.

"There is a real feeling at the club that we are at the start of something special," he added. "While we are still evolving as a team it is clear that our fans, like us as a board, are excited about our players and manager and feel the team is heading in the right direction.

"Youth development is a key part of the club's DNA and we continue to invest in our academy and scouting infrastructure in order to sign the best young players."