Manchester United's transfer expenditure is set to plateau during the upcoming summer window after spending over £250m across the last two years on new players, executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has confirmed. Since David Moyes' inauspicious spell in charge, the club have spent big in order to restore order at Old Trafford however that policy will be curtailed.
The likes of Angel di Maria, Anthony Martial and Memphis Depay have arrived at the club in the last two summers during Louis van Gaal's spell in charge and, though the club have returned to the Champions League, they have failed to mount a serious Premier League title charge. Should Swansea City fail to beat Manchester City, then United would be consigned to another season away from Europe's premier club competition.
But Woodward is not ready to instigate another overhaul of the United squad should they miss out on the Champions League. The much-criticised club chief expects spending to "stabilise" during upcoming windows but it could yet increase in the near future.
"There has been continued inflation in player transfer given the increase in money flowing around the industry but also the second, perhaps greater affect, has been the re-tooling that we have been undertaking in terms of the squad," he told investors at a conference call to discuss the club's third quarterly financial figures to 31 March.
"I do think stabilise in the coming few years but continue to be lumpy thereafter. I can't guide on what that is. As a club we will always invest in the squad to the extent that we need to so that we're challenging for titles but I think this sustained level is probably relatively high compared to what is needed, " he added.
Aside from the club announcing record revenue of £123.4m, Woodward also revelled in the success of the United academy which has been among the rare positives from a season riddled with problems. Woodward believes the emergence of the likes of Marcus Rashford and Tim Fosu Mensah is helping the club keep up with their big-spending rivals.
"The academy is the heart of the club, it is in our DNA and has been for over 60 years," he added. "As that continues to deliver players into the first team that is helping us in terms of net transfer spend.
"It has become more competitive. It became more competitive around the change of ownership 12 years ago. It obviously got more competitive when City changed ownership about five years ago and the last round increase of 70% domestically, obviously we're in the last year of that cycle, and visibility into next year's cycle from domestic money going up a similar percentage it makes all the other clubs more competitive in the Premier League.
"The way we view it is we know where we have strengths and we have to focus on giving ourselves the best chance in every single area of the club we can. Yes that is the academy but it also means in recruitment, with the coach staff, having the best medical department sport, science facilities; it is all relevant. It is trying to get an extra 1% from all of those area which impact the first team."