Ed Woodward
Woodward's words point towards a busy summer at Old Trafford.

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward says the imminent appointment of Louis van Gaal and plans to spend significantly in the summer transfer window are intrinsically linked to returning the club to the Champions League.

David Moyes – whose pay-off at United will be imminently announced - was sacked in April after 10 months at Old Trafford, with Netherlands coach Van Gaal expected to be appointed next week ahead of the World Cup.

United suffered their worst ever Premier League finish last season after ending the season in seventh as the club failed to qualify for Europe and Woodward has reaffirmed the desire to spend considerably in the upcoming window in order to spark a resurgence.

During a conference call to announce the club's third quarterly financial figures which amounted to revenues of £115.5m, Woodward said: "Be assured that everyone at the club is working hard to make sure that our performances on the pitch next season will be what we and our fans expect of Manchester United.

"As you're aware we made a managerial change at the end of April. We are now focused on bringing in a new manager who will help Manchester United return to the top of English football and be challenging in Europe. We expect to make an announcement in due course.

"In the meantime we continue to be active in the transfer market.

"The club's expectations, and you'll see this reflected in the transfer market and what we've done from a managerial perspective, and aim is to absolutely get back into the Champions League.

Juan Mata became United's record signing in the January transfer window and while new players are expected to follow Van Gaal this summer, the club have been warned off a deluge of spending by potential Uefa financial fair play sanctions.

Newly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City and Paris Saint Germain are among the clubs awaiting punishment by European football's governing body and Woodward has explained how United's own spending will be tempered by the threat of punishment.

Woodward added: "Recent news has indicated that Uefa is taking a strong line on clubs that breach FFP rules. We continue to support FFP and believe it will help control player capital expenditure and wage inflation. We also believe that the quality of the club's academy will be a key differentiator as FFP begins to take effect.

"Into next year, you'll be able to understand where we're heading when it comes to player wages but it will be an increase year on year. We still expect there to be an increase in player wages.

"That's partly due to the market and obviously we're looking at investing in players a little bit this summer anyway mitigated a bit by what we're seeing in Financial Fair Play."

Though the United chief, who replaced David Gill last summer, refrained from providing specific details on spending he repeated the club's intention to be a main protagonist this summer.

"We will be active in the transfer market," he stated. "The window is upon us and deals are being done but there is nothing announced, we haven't committed yet so it's something that you're going to have to wait and see through the window."